Public/Private Education In A State Near Your!

by MISSOURI EDUCATION WATCHDOG Aug 4, 2012

Remember when everyone was all upset that the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was going to require people to purchase something just to be considered a citizen in good standing?  But then the Supreme Court reassured us that it wasn’t a criminal matter if we didn’t purchase health insurance, because it was just a tax.  Citizens would just be fined. However,  the IRS has been named as the enforcement agency for the healthcare bill, and according to section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), it is a federal crime for anyone to willfully attempt to evade or defeat the payment of federal taxes. The IRS has the authority to incarcerate anyone found guilty of tax evasion. So how is it an honest statement that failure to comply with the terms of the PPACA will not result in criminal incarceration?

Why am I talking about health care in an education blog?  PPACA, like Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae sets up a hybrid public/private entity which ties people to government while enriching private businesses. If you want a home, your mortgage is ultimately going to be owned by the government through Freddie Mac. If you want a student loan, the pressure has been applied to send you into the arms of government supplied student loans (which are a great investment for Uncle Sam since they can never be forgiven.) The government is forcing you into a businesses relationship with private insurers with PPACA. They have already stated that their end goal is a single payer system, but those private insurers know that the government will contract with them to manage that system so they will end up with guaranteed business no matter what.  The reason this topic is here is because they are setting up the same scenario in education.

Stephanie Simon of Reuters attended a gathering of investors in Manhattan, and the business sector they were looking to invest in is education. The conference was billed as a how-to on “private equity investing in for-profit education companies,” and was attended by about 100 hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, and education vendors.

“You start to see entire ecosystems of investment opportunity lining up,” said Lytle, a partner at The Parthenon Group, a Boston consulting firm. “It could get really, really big.”

…The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors.

…Traditionally, public education has been a tough market for private firms to break into — fraught with politics, tangled in bureaucracy and fragmented into tens of thousands of individual schools and school districts from coast to coast.

Now investors are signaling optimism that a golden moment has arrived. They’re pouring private equity and venture capital into scores of companies that aim to profit by taking over broad swaths of public education.

And government is pushing for them to be able to do that. From education reform advocates pushing for the expansion of charter schools, to Teach For America creating its own shorthand education degree course collecting money both from government and students to pay for their business, to the coming explosion of on-line learning, there are so many profit avenues into public education.

The goal: an education revolution in which public schools outsource to private vendors such critical tasks as teaching math, educating disabled students, even writing report cards, said Michael Moe, the founder of GSV ( an investment firm in Chicago that specializes in education.)

Back to the question of why talk about the health care situation in an education blog. Just like you are required now by the government to purchase something from a private company for health, you will be required to pay a private business (through your taxes if not directly) to comply with the government mandate that your child be educated.  You must send your child to school. Homeschool parents know this all too well as many of them are harassed by school officials and local police for being unfit parents who fail to do the right thing and send their kids to public school. Unless you are strong enough to do the work of educating your child yourself and put up with push back like this, you have no choice but to send your child to public school. Now that the job of that  public school is being outsourced to private business, you are in essence required to participate in a private business contract not of your choosing.  If you don’t, and the PPACA is the legal precedent, you might be subject to incarceration.

I have no problem if a charter school wants to come in and try to do a better job educating children. But in the current environment of regulation, they will only be able to provide the regular public school education in a different building. I have no problem if a company wants to create educational modules to help teach a subject. But if the government is going to have the authority to either bless that method or not, regulating whether the module fulfills the governments requirements, then we will not have the free market operating.  We will have the continuation of government control over education and government selection of winners and losers in the private sector. We will have yet another pubic/private hybrid on our hands that is the worst of both worlds.


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