Bet you didn't even know it. If you have kids and sent them through the public school system, you accepted welfare from the government.
"But I pay school taxes. It's not like I'm freeloading."
Yes you are.
In 2009, the average cost per pupil came in at $10,499 per student (source: Census Bureau). If your child started kindergarten at a public school in 2009 and assuming the cost per pupil doesn't increase each year (it does), your child's education over the twelve years of school would come out to about $126,000 dollars. If you pay $3,000 of taxes every year that goes directly to funding your child's school (for most people, a portion of your property tax goes to funding your local school), it would take you 42 years to pay the government back. And that's for one child, not two or three or more.
So welcome to the welfare club. You have relied on the government to collect money from people without kids or who's kids have long since been out of school to foot your kids' education bill. Most likely, in your lifetime, assuming you stay right where you live now, you still wouldn't have paid the local government back for educating your child or children.
Those are the cold, hard facts.
Why, then, do so many people, who are receiving a free education for their children, insist on faulting the public school system as a failure?
The answer to that question would take a book, maybe two books. The boiled down answer is the richest, and the poorest, in this country feel they are entitled to the best that can be offered. It's the same attitude you can see, and probably have seen, at McDonalds. Someone orders a burger off the dollar menu and then loudly protests to the cashier that the burger is undercooked, had a pickle on it, was cold, or whatever little itchy complaint. All the while, the "unsatisfied customer" is holding up the line of other customers who simply want a burger and get back to work.
McDonalds doesn't aspire to offer five-star menu cuisine from the finest chefs in the world, yet there are always the few customers who demand the same service and quality of food as if they were dining in a fine restaurant. Call it arrogance. Call it a sense of entitlement. Call it a nobody trying to be a somebody. If you're standing in line behind them waiting to place your order, call them assholes. It doesn't matter. It's misplaced ego, anger, or both.
If you send your child to a public school, you have ordered your child's education off of the dollar menu. Expect the basic, one-size-fits-all educational experience and stop holding the line up with your petty complaints. If you want better, stop free loading and pay for it. There are plenty of private schools and home schooling programs available that will provide your child or children with a five-star education tailored to what you want your child to learn.
And when you point your finger with condemnation at other freeloaders and entitlement-minded people, remember, the same condemning finger is pointed back at you. Oh, and stop embarrasing yourself by supporting a voucher program to send your child to private school. You don't hear food stamp recipients demanding more money so they can afford filet mignon and lobster tail, do you?
Posted by The Coffee Party