Coffee Break 8-11-17

Steppin’ to the Other Side

The best social safety net for the less fortunate is free enterprise. In fact, just in the past 20 years nearly 1 billion people have been saved from the ravages of poverty because of the free market. Free enterprise is not the cause of the downtrodden population, it’s the reason it’s disappearing.”

American Enterprise Institute Quote-of-the-Day, 8-9-17

I’d watch those pronoun antecedents if I were you, AEI Quote-of-the-Dayers.

Once or twice a week, Deedspeakout steps to the Other Side—not to be confused with Steppin’ to the Bad Side, of course. Below are links to pieces dealing (mostly) with education.

NR is worried about the prospect of Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL 7th) introducing federal legislation “to prohibit taxpayers from claiming a federal tax deduction on contributions to scholarship organizations for which they received a state tax credit.”

If federal legislation were passed (it won’t be) forbidding a de facto double tax credit for donations to foundations awarding scholarships to private schools, this would make such donations less attractive to wealthy donors.

The article debunks the five reasons why Sewell is proposing such legislation; our favorite is their objection to her reason #4, that the program is leading to “resegregation”: “In fact, however, the high degree of racial isolation is a direct result of assigning children to district schools based on the homes their parents can afford. As the U.S. Government Accountability Office found in a report last year, racial isolation in district schools is a serious and worsening problem. But far from exacerbating segregation, private school-choice programs actually make schools more racially integrated, according to nine of ten studies.”

That’s the first we’ve ever read about scholarship tax credits used as an argument in favor of desegregation (see our education links, previous post).

We should maybe step to the Other Side more often …

There are no talking points, no “buts”, no “ifs” – just a straight-up piece of reporting about the Mayor’s decision, only two weeks after her son’s death, to return to work and start speaking out about the opioid epidemic. Even hough Barry is a Democrat.

  • The Heartland Institute provides a white paper (.pdf) on home schooling, one of the Sec of Ed’s favorite approaches.

Did you know that there are now more children being home-schooled than there are in Catholic schools (which for some reason Breitbart calls “parochial schools”)?

Re: the socioeconomic status of families that homeschool: “Unique to homeschooling, however, is that the biggest cost is usually the loss of one parent’s income since approximately 90 percent of homeschooling families are two-parent households, and in more than half of these only one parent is in the workforce. This cost is significant because although homeschool households are less likely than public school families to be under the poverty level, they are more likely to be ‘near poor’ than either public or private school families. They are also less likely than either public or private school families to be in the federal ‘at or above’ 200 percent poverty line, which would appear to be consistent with the loss of one parent’s income.”

So in “something under half” (%?) of all homeschooling families, both parents work? Last we checked, teaching is a full-time job…

Moving forward, teachers “will be offered a generous defined-contribution (plan?), 401(k)-style retirement plan or they can opt in to a defined-benefit pension. Teachers who choose the conventional pension benefit will assume half of the responsibility to ensure the pension system is properly funded. And if the plan does not remain properly funded — maintaining assets of 85 percent or higher of the required funding — it will be automatically closed to new members.” [emphasis added]

So: Michigan teachers—should they choose to invest in a defined-benefit retirement plan—will pay half the cost.

No wonder Michigan is suffering from an increasingly severe teacher shortage.





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