In Kansas City, private schools seen as ‘a perversion’


If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between public schools and private schools, a top Kansas school administrator knows the difference:

David A. Smith, Chief of Staff, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
David A. Smith, Chief of Staff, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools

David Smith, chief of staff for Kansas City, Kan., public schools, said the bill was targeted at students specifically in low-income districts, including his district. Now, he is trying to figure out what this portion of the bill will mean for public schools.

“It is beyond my comprehension how encouraging students to go to a private school serves the public good,” Smith said. “It is such a perversion of what it means to serve the public that I don’t get it.” (Legislators offer tax credits for scholarships to private schools, KU Statehouse Wire Service via Hays Daily News)

Consider these circumstances:

(a) Parents feel that their children are not thriving in Smith’s public school, and
(b) parents find a private school that they feel will help their children, and
(c) taxpayer money for these students is diverted from Smith’s public school to private schools that are teaching the children.

Is the result of these activities a “perversion?” Isn’t the public also served when children are educated in private schools? And if the private schools do a better job than the public schools, hasn’t the public been delivered better service?

Smith may not realize that if private schools are not doing a good job, students are not forced to attend them. They can go to other schools, including the public schools. But students who are not doing well in Smith’s school don’t have many alternatives. Perhaps none.

The attitude expressed by Smith is a opportunity to recognize and understand the real issue in the debate over schools in Kansas: Which is more important — public schools (and unions, teachers, principals, administrators, superintendents, service employees, school architects, school construction companies) or Kansas schoolchildren?

David A. Smith knows the answer that best serves his interests.


2 responses to “In Kansas City, private schools seen as ‘a perversion’”

  1. Larry Fischer

    Freedom is the issue no less in education than all decisions. Morality cannot exist without freedom. Why? The ability to chose ‘self government’. Self government is the seed bed for good laws. America’s freedom was based on fundamentals of life, freedom to travel with interference [liberyy], and the ability to own property. It would follow that the freedom to chose where one’s efforts in these areas are important is the exercise of a moral concept. To continue those ideas our offspring is educated in a like manner, or supposed to be. So, culture develops in a society voluntarily, through freedom to chose wisely, that which is best for posterity. Self government, rightly ordered, cares first for family and all other entities are secondary. This is the bottom of the pyramid from which all actions spring. That is where the battle lies hidden, yet so important. All dictators seek the minds of children. We need to guard against this gradualism which destroys a culture from within by advocating parental rights, and and all, to dictate where and how their children are taught. Tax dollars need to follow those children.

  2. Larry Fischer

    I wrote this too hastily and wish I could edit some of the sentences. Always proof read, right !!

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