Monday, October 03, 2011
The term "nanny state" is too generous to describe a state that: continually promises essential services of one kind or another; frequently welshes on such promises; kneecaps those who would vote with their feet for competitors for said services (while also strangling the competitors); and then, to top it all off, declares a felon someone who violates its arbitrary rules for passing out scraps:
[A] mother of two, [Kelley] Williams-Bolar last year used her father's address to enroll her two daughters in a better public school outside of their neighborhood. After spending nine days behind bars charged with grand theft, the single mother was convicted of two felony counts. Not only did this stain her spotless record, but it threatened her ability to earn the teacher's license she had been working on.The governor of Ohio granted her clemency, reducing the charges to misdemeanors. Her teaching aspirations remain intact, but what of her children?
The Williams-Bolars are hardly alone:
In the last year, parents in Connecticut, Kentucky and Missouri have all been arrested -- and await sentencing -- for enrolling their children in better public schools outside of their districts.Both kinds of "exasperation" would become non-existent were there a free market in education, as would the Orwellian tactics now being employed to prevent the "theft" of something the government claims children are entitled to.
These arrests represent two major forms of exasperation. First is that of parents whose children are zoned into failing public schools -- they can't afford private schooling, they can't access school vouchers, and they haven't won or haven't even been able to enter a lottery for a better charter school. Then there's the exasperation of school officials finding it more and more difficult to deal with these boundary-hopping parents.
Writer Michael Flaherty ends his piece by stating that, "The defenders of the status quo in our nation's public schools could learn a lot...," but he doesn't go far enough. As Glenn Woiseshyn indicates in the last link above, such a status quo is inherent in education having been made, illegitimately, into a state function.