Jill Lewis-Spector is on the Board of Directors of the Florida League of Women Voters. She shares her thoughts on the value of public education.
One of the advantages of public schools is CERTAINTY:
- There is certainty that a public school open one year will still be open the next. Public schools don’t close as many charters and private schools do, displacing all the children who attended them and causing anxiety for parents. Public schools are graded. If one is failing students, it has to develop an improvement plan.
- There is certainty that students attending public schools who need extra help with some skills, e.g. reading, there are programs in place to give them that help.
- There is certainty that the curriculum is based on high standards, unlike private schools that aren’t required to adhere to standards.
- There is certainty that teachers meet at least the minimum criteria for teaching children and are routinely evaluated, unlike many charters and private schools that often rely on uncertified teachers and not held to high quality teaching requirements.
- There is certainty that the children in the school share a common bond as neighbors; they can play together after school if they wish; they will see each other in the park or at the supermarket, unlike many charters and private school students who may come from far distances.
- There is certainty that those with oversight for the school live in the community, unlike many charters and private schools that are managed by individuals who may not even live in the state, let alone the community.
- There is certainty that tax dollars going to the public schools are being used for the public schools; there is a budget and there is oversight of that budget, unlike many charters and private schools whose accounting procedures are questionable and lack transparency.
- There is certainty that tax dollars going to public schools are used for public schools; there is a budget and oversight unlike at many charter and private schools.