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Enslaving Ourselves By Majority Rule

Public Schools -
Public Prisons











By Joel Turtel

April 23, 2006

Millions of low and middle-income parents today are disgusted with public schools, but can't afford expensive private schools. These parents are appalled at the inferior education public schools give their kids, but think they have nowhere else to go.

Parents don't want to condemn their children to a third-rate, mind-numbing, public- school education, but what can they do? Up to now, all they could do is complain to arrogant or indifferent public-school authorities to give their kids a decent education. But many of these schools can barely teach our kids to read.

Many parents who have read my book have told me that their complaints usually fall on deaf ears, that complaining to public-school officials can be like talking to a brick wall. The reason public-school officials are indifferent to parents' complaints is because they get paid by government taxes, not by parents.

A private school is paid directly by parents, its customers. If the school does a lousy job educating its students, parents will take their children out of the school. If the school's owner hires incompetent or mediocre teachers, parents will take their kids out of the school to find a better school.

When this happens, the private-school owner loses all his parent-customers and has to shut down the school, losing the tens of thousands of dollars he invested in creating the school. Because parents are his customers and pay him directly, the private-school owner must do a good job educating his students, or risk personal bankruptcy and failure.

By contrast, public schools are government-run near-monopolies supported by compulsory school taxes. Therefore, unlike a private school that gets paid by parents, no matter how bad a public school is, it never shuts down because taxes prop them up.

Also, tenured teachers have lifetime secure jobs because it is almost impossible to fire teachers. As a result, teachers can do a mediocre or incompetent job teaching your children, and never get fired.

So, because tax-supported public schools never go bankrupt and tenured teachers and principals practically never get fired, neither the school nor the teachers and principals have any incentive to care about parents' complaints. They are not personally accountable to parents. They suffer no personal financial consequences for their incompetence or mediocrity. Parents can complain until they are blue in the face, but the schools keep getting their tax money and the teachers keep getting their government-paid salaries.

Many parents believe that the only alternative to public schools is either a Catholic or Protestant-affiliated school or expensive non-religious private school. The problem is that even Catholic schools now charge an average tuition between $3000 to $4000 a year. Non-religious, brick-and-mortar private schools can charge between $7000 to over $14,000 a year tuition. Millions of low and middle-income parents simply cannot afford this tuition, so they think they are stuck with public schools.

The good news is that parents now have great new and low-cost education alternatives for their kids. Parents can now give their children a quality, private-school education with Internet schools that cater to K-12th grade students.

Many Internet private schools have low tuition costs, from as low as $350 a year to $2000 or more a year. Many of these schools charge less than $850 a year tuition. For example, the Clonlara School currently charges about $800 a year tuition for a new student in kindergarten through 8th grade studies. Children get a thorough education in reading, math, history, and many other subjects in the curriculum, and the school assigns a personal teacher to each child.

There are dozens of excellent Internet private schools parents can choose from. Some schools such as Keystone National High School only offer high-school programs while others offer a complete, kindergarten through 12th grade education.

Many accredited Internet schools give a course of study similar to traditional private schools. They take children through a progressive curriculum in math, science, reading and writing, history, and many other subjects.

This structured, comprehensive program, in effect, gives children a personal teacher and private-school education in the safety of their own living room. This setup is especially helpful for single-working moms, or families where both mother and father work. Since Internet-school teachers supervise the child's education, it's less likely that parents have to take time from work or quit their job to homeschool their kids. As a result, Internet private schools take most of the homeschooling responsibility off parents' backs.

"Public School, Public Menace" has a whole Resource section devoted to Internet private schools and many other education options. The book lists dozens of Internet schools with their website addresses. Parents can quickly research these schools, find out if the yearly tuition fits their budget and the curriculum and teaching methods look suitable for their child.

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Parents, you don't have to settle for a third-rate, mind-numbing, public-school education for your children any more. You have real alternatives now, many excellent, low-cost alternatives that can give your children a first-rate education and a rewarding future.

2006 Joel Turtel - All Rights Reserved

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Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children, holds a degree in Psychology. For the last ten years he has served as an Education Policy Analyst, studying the climate of today's public schools and its effect on children and parents.

Mr. Turtel has written two books, published over fifty articles, and has been interviewed in both print and broadcast media on the subject. His latest book, Public Schools, Public Menace has garnered national media attention recently, for example, Dr. Laura Schlessinger featured the book on her nationally syndicated radio show.

Joel Turtel is available to discuss his book Public Schools, Public Menace in the media, at conferences, or with individual groups. Be warned though, you may be shocked by the revelations he has uncovered in America's public-school system.

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This structured, comprehensive program, in effect, gives children a personal teacher and private-school education in the safety of their own living room.