Social Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why is most K-12 education mostly free?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (21402points) 2 months ago
71 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Other than some supplies, and fees K-12 is mostly free. Why do schools get subsidized by the government? What is the payout?

Not trying to be a jerk. I am just wondering why it is not much of a deal for those who don’t support big government? Why does free education stop at 18 years old? Why that specific age? It could have been 17 or 19 or 4 or 25 years old?

Also who decides what age that one can be called an adult? Is it States or provinces or federal?

In Alberta today you are required to attend school until you are at least 16 years old or grade 10.

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Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well it’s the law for one thing.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ok. Why is it the law? What where the pro’s and con’s when the law was passed? Who passed it, and where are the details? Is it in the constitution?

Why can’t children just be free to play? Is elementary school a form of white collar child labor? Robbing them of their childhood ? Or am I being disengernous? What I learned mostly was on television, radio and from family.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Child labor? The child doesn’t create any product. It’s education. The child is the one who profits.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_III ok I will stop digging; The hole that I am in. :) Just making conversation and my axe to grind. Also I am trying not to be full of myself anymore.
I just would wonder if free university for everyone could be paid the same way K-12 is?

Can’t blame a guy for trying :) . I’m biased from my personal ax to grind for my truantcy problems that I created in skipping grade school. As well as wanting free education.

The message, to those lurking, is don’t take education for granted, just because there is an abundance of books and school. It disappears quickly after you graduate high school; Then becomes pricy and harder to obtain.

jca2's avatar

All of society benefits by having an educated populace.

Also, just to add that when people complain about having to pay school taxes and not having kids in the school (for example, childless couples, single people who don’t have any children or older people whose children are grown), everyone benefits when the schools are good because people’s real estate values are higher when they’re in a good school district.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@jca2 ^agreed. That is true.
Do the benefits continue after high school?
Can the benefits extend to university, and graduate school?

I’m feeling like the prodigal son, and feel bad for failing out of university? After 26,500plus years and I still goof up my second year of university.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^ of course it can extend to colleges. They can read.

I went through a lot of digging to find this

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanks for the link. I did not know that the K.K.K. We’re against non segregation of schools. I will have to read the link again. I will go now through the reference material to find a couple of books to add to my Amazon books wish lists.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanks I ordered Paul Blanshard’s book for $51 Canadian or $38 USA dollars from eBay. I will read it later when shipped. : )

American Freedom And Catholic Power By Paul Blanshard Sealed Book Read

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you can read @RedDeerGuy1, thank a teacher!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ok thanks all for teaching me!!! School, family, PBS, and Fluther.

HP's avatar

The only reason public ecucation through high school currently exists is simply because it was implemented at a time when it was understood that the society would benefit overall from a literate citizenry schooled in at least basic concepts. The cutoff at high school again was decided at a time when a high school diploma was more than sufficient to guarantee the recipient prospects for secure and adequate employment. Those days of enlightened thinking as the consensus are now a bygone and sad memory. And to think that most of us here remember those times. It’s enough to break your heart.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And the current school system is under attack….by the parents

HP's avatar

Clearly public (or whatever) schooling has failed them

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or their parents have failed them @HP.

smudges's avatar

I don’t know how to put this other than to be blunt: children are basically helpless and would remain so without schooling which would later get them a job which is a way to support themselves/earn a living. Once you’re 18, the law has said you’re old enough and smart enough due to k-12 schooling to choose whether you want to support your way through college or get a job to support yourself.

JLoon's avatar

Free makes the math easier.

Five year olds have trouble counting change, and 17 year olds keep trying to use bitcoin.

hat's avatar

Full-time public kindergarten costs money in many places. I paid $5000 each for my 3 kids to go to public kindergarten.

Zaku's avatar

“What is the payout?”
– The “payout” (LMAO) is fewer ignorant fools, happier, more knowledgeable, better-educated people, etc.

What defines an adult is an interesting sociological question.

What determines what education is required and/or subsidized, is determined by legislatures. See the history of education and legislation for details.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@hat explain please.

hat's avatar

^ Oops. Sorry. It was a typo. I meant “full-day kindergarten”. Here in MA, many towns will have free half-day kindergarten, but will charge (usually between $2500 and $5000) for full-day kindergarten. Half-day = ~3 hours, full-day = normal school day.

SnipSnip's avatar

The 14th Amendment protects a parent’s right to direct the educational upbringing of their child.

HP's avatar

As well as the right to ruin the kid forever.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here is the 14th amendment..

Please copy and paste the section that mentions the parent’s right to screw up their kid’s education, @SnipSnip.

kritiper's avatar

Our taxes help pay for public schools.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They don’t just “help”. They are the sole support for the schools.

Forever_Free's avatar

First and foremost, it is now free. You pay a portion of your property taxes for funding the schools. If you are a renter, a portion of your rent goes to the landlord to pay that property tax.
A little history.
Before this country officially became the United States of America, there was a need for public education. When the first settlers created the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the governing General Court created the initial education system, which consisted of public and Latin schools designed to teach children Puritan values and how to read the Bible. While much of the teaching was done in the home at that time, there were organized Latin schools for the elite social class to send their sons for formal learning. However, in 1635, the first free public school was also opened, which was supported by taxpayer dollars.

Less than a decade after the first official public school opened in Virginia, Massachusetts created a law requiring towns with populations of 50 or more to hire a schoolmaster to teach the children of the town basic academics. Towns that had 100 or more people were required to hire a Latin grammar schoolmaster who was equipped to prepare students for higher education. At that time, the only college established in the colonies was Harvard, and that is where students attended if they could prove academic readiness for the rigors of higher education.

While numerous public schools were established throughout the New World over the next century, they were somewhat sporadic and disjointed without any centralized education system to guide them. After the Revolutionary War, Thomas Jefferson argued that there should be a formal education system, and taxpayer dollars should be used to support it. That request went unheeded for nearly a century.

In 1837, Massachusetts creates the first state Board of Education, after establishing the first public high school and free public school to all grades in the years leading up to the board’s creation. The movement toward a statewide public education structure was initiated by Horace Mann, a state legislator who rose from humble beginnings to graduate from Brown University and become a champion for social reforms, including public education. Mann’s passion for education stemmed from his belief that education was the key to bridging social gaps, overcoming poverty and creating a more equal society overall.

During the 19th century, the classroom setting took on a very different look, as more towns began opening public schools for all of the resident children to attend. Most of the classrooms were sparsely decorated and furnished, reflecting the frugality of the mostly rural times. All of the grades were taught in a single room, by a single school teacher who was typically an unmarried woman who had finished primary and secondary grades. The teacher was often younger than some of the students she taught. Studies primarily focused on reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as good manners. Resources in the early classrooms were extremely limited, consisting of slates and chalk for writing lessons and possibly a few books for literacy.

The federal Department of Education was established in 1867. The original purpose of the agency was to collect information on individual schools that would help states establish their own effective public school systems.

hat's avatar

^ They appear to have copied/pasted from here,

Forever_Free's avatar

@hat Thanks for linking the source of major points.

Correction on first sentence “First and foremost, it is NOT free.”

SnipSnip's avatar

“The Due Process Clause says that states may not “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Supreme Court has interpreted this clause to have substantive and procedural protections. With substantive due process, the 14th Amendment protects a parent’s right to direct the educational upbringing of their child. Because of this right, the Supreme Court ruled that a state statute that prohibited the teaching of foreign language, and a state statute that required all students to attend public schools, as opposed to private schools, violated the 14th Amendment. See Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters. The Court also ruled that a state statute that required Amish children to attend school past the eighth grade violated the substantive due process rights, and the religious freedom rights, of Amish parents to direct the educational and religious upbringing of their children. See Wisconsin v. Yoder.”

https://www.concordlawschool.edu/blog/constitutional-law/14th-amendment-protects-rights-education/

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well right. They can home school them.
They can’t go in and tell the teacher what they can and can’t teach in a public school.

SnipSnip's avatar

Yes, they can. Plus much much more. You didn’t read.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did read. I read it before I sent the link to you and asked you to copy and paste the parts you think are relevant.
I am asking for the second time.

SnipSnip's avatar

I gave you the relevant part of the constitution with some cases you could look up if you want to understand.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Parents can not tell the public schools what they can and can’t teach. There is a whole separate organization for that.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Dutchess_III Parents have more say on public schools than you think.
There are rules in place so that children get that education they are entitled.
Parents advocate for their children to the school and school boards.
Some also force school systems to create an IEP or 504 plan when their children may not even need that individualized plan. They get the state government to endorse what they can and cannot say or teach.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. The State Board of Education determines what their lesson plans will consist of.
And yes, parents can force the schools to create an IEP for their special precious babies. But the IEPs fall within state guidelines. They mainly consist of kids going to specialized classrooms (reading, ESL, etc.) thereby missing out on what is being taught in their home class. IEPs suck.

raum's avatar

Pretty troubling that a former teacher thinks that IEPs suck.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They do. They pull kids out of their regular class, and the kids miss what ever math-history-geography-reading lesson being taught in their classroom.
I think they were invented as a way to cater to parents who demand that their babies need special attention.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well thanks. A review is always nice.

But sometimes IEPs create problems where there are none.
Case in point: in the mid 90s I was called to sub in an ESL class. At one point in walked a kid who I had had in my daycare. His name was Wichita. His parents had emigrated from Vietnam, but he was born here. He grew up speaking English.
“Wichita!” I said. “What are you doing here? You speak English as well as I do!”
He shrugged his shoulders and said “I dunno. They say go there so I come here.”
So we made a pass at the lesson plan, which took all of 15 minutes, and spent the remaining 30 minutes looking for things to do.
All the while he was missing out on what his regular teacher was teaching.
By that logic, my mom should have been sent to special classes because she was born to Dutch immigrants. But she wasn’t. Her English was impeccable.

raum's avatar

ESL and IEPs are not the same thing.

smudges's avatar

She knows that @raum! I think you missed the point. I don’t even know what an IEP is and I got it. The IEP sent a child to an ESL class even though he spoke English fine. They did that simply because his parents were Vietnamese. So the child was missing out on whatever course his regular teacher was teaching during that 45 mins. Thus, sometimes IEPs create problems where there are none.

raum's avatar

IEPs do not send kids to an ESL class.

ESL is English as a Second Language. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan for students with disabilities. Speaking English as a second language is not a disability. Parents do not create IEPs. Districts evaluate whether a student qualifies for an IEP.

[face palm]

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@raum some school systems are punitive for minorities !

raum's avatar

There are issues with ESL programs. And there are issues with IEPs.

But the problem isn’t that IEPs are sending kids to ESL classes. (The two aren’t even related!)

The misinformation in this thread is wild.

Dutchess_III's avatar

IEPs do send kids to ESL classes. And to remedial reading, math, what ever.
Please give the following source a glance
Source

Parents can request an IEP.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When a kid has an IEP they automatically get labeled “Special Needs.” A portion of the school’s funding depends on how many Special Needs kids they have.
Not only that, if the parents are on Welfare they get some extra money every month for the child.

raum's avatar

IEPs do not send kids to ESL classes. Yes, there are ELL students with IEPs. And their IEPs will specify the accommodations needed in an ESL class.

IEPs are for students with disabilities. Speaking a second language is not a disability.

Parents can request an IEP. But district does assessment and determines eligibility.

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/english-learner-toolkit/chap6.pdf

raum's avatar

IEPs are also not needed for pull-out services. (“Remedial reading, math, whatever.”) That is usually done with COST (Coordination of Services Team), that is usually through teacher recommendations for assessment.

Yes, there are students with IEPs who have pull-out. But I don’t think you understand IEPs, ELL or COST.

raum's avatar

Districts get money for unduplicated students. But that doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of special education. It is grossly underfunded on the federal level.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@raum we must not be in Kansas ! ! !

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do understand it all. When I was subbing students get pulled out all the time for special instruction.
Sometimes a special instructor would come into the classroom to sit with the student, the “push in” mentioned in the article.

The schools are pretty desperate for Special Needs students to fill their funding needs.

raum's avatar

Dude, I am not saying that students don’t get pulled out.

I’m saying that ELL programs and IEPs are different things.

You are also contradicting yourself.

First, you say that IEPs are just forced on the district by parents who demand special attention for their babies?

Now, districts are desperate for “special needs” students for their funding?

Every financial deck at school board meetings or school site council meetings have been about how SpEd students are costing the districts too much money. They are scrambling to move them to 504’s or how to exit them out of SpEd completely.

raum's avatar

I was thinking perhaps Kansas was very different than California. But a quick search confirms that special education in Kansas is also underfunded at the state level.

https://www.kasb.org/45132?articleID=110322

Forever_Free's avatar

@Dutchess_III Without IEP’s, many children would fail miserably and be completely lost in the system without it’s structure. It is essential. The only people I have heard that are against IEP’s are former teachers who failed to understand their importance to the children. It takes a special teach and proper training to be have Special Education certifications.
The trouble is that teachers who are not Special Ed teachers and Administration don’t respect the needs of the children.
KIDS AREN’T FAILING SCHOOL: SCHOOL IS FAILING KIDS.

jca2's avatar

If a kid speaks another language better than he or she speaks English, it would make sense to have the IEP in his native language and give him ESL, as well.

@Dutchess_III with all due respect, you gave one example and it was from 30 years ago. That may or may not be relevant to today.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My DIL requested, and received, IEPs for all 4 of her kids.

jca2's avatar

That’s great, @Dutchess_III. I am not understanding your point now.

raum's avatar

Okay, I’m guessing that your disdain for IEPs stems from you not agreeing with your DIL’s decision to request IEPs for her children?

A lot of parents and grandparents are very resistant to the idea that their students have any kind of disability that warrants an IEP.

IEPs cost school districts a lot of money. They do not hand them out willy-nilly. Even a medical diagnosis of autism doesn’t automatically warrant an IEP.

If the district gave her kids IEPs, the district agrees that the kids have a disability that affects how they access education.

This does not mean your grandkids aren’t bright kids. This just means that they learn in a different way and need supports that aren’t available in Gen Ed.

Be happy for your grandkids.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Dutchess_III Each case like every child is unique in their needs. I am not sure how your comment plays against the OP and your points here.

Forever_Free's avatar

@raum Perfect answer.

raum's avatar

Kansas is interesting. Apparently state statutes and regulations also require that gifted services be delivered through IEPs. There could be a number of reasons why your DIL would request IEPs for her children.

https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/SES/Gifted/ReceivingGiftedServicesKansas.pdf?

raum's avatar

The process is complex.

“Regulations are very clear with regard to the fact that a child must NOT be determined to be a child with an exceptionality if:
(a) the determinant factor is:
• Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction
(defined in section 9215© of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency including oral reading skills, and reading comprehension strategies); or
• Lack of appropriate instruction in math; or
Limited English proficiency

https://www.ksde.org/portals/0/ses/misc/iep/eligibilityindicators.pdf?

Dutchess_III's avatar

But my DIL is not qualified to determine if any of her kid are LD. This determination is usually made by the schools after careful observation and testing by teachers and qualified couselors. I find it crazy that she can request IEPs and get them. Of the 4 kids only 1, the oldest, has any kind of disability (he’s on the autism spectrum.) The other 3 are sharp as tacks.
But then again, some of the school’s funding hinges on how many Special Ed kids the school has.

raum's avatar

She requested them. But eligibility determination is still determined by the schools after careful observation and testing by teachers and qualified professionals.

Look through this link again. In order for your grandkids to have received an IEP, they would have had to meet all of these requirements:

https://www.ksde.org/portals/0/ses/misc/iep/eligibilityindicators.pdf?

Again, IEPs cost school districts a lot of money. The funding they receive from the state for those students do not even cover the district’s cost to run these programs.

raum's avatar

Also, having an IEP and being sharp as a tack are not mutually exclusive.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Dutchess_III School funding has nothing to do with this. Public districts HAVE to provide the review by a professional and resources if requested and deemed the child needs it.
If they do not provide qualified resources for these children and their requirements, the district can be sued by the parents. The parents also have the ability to challenge if the school is meeting the requirements. If they are deemed that they have not provided for the child’s need, then the parent can find a private school to handle it at the school districts cost. This is take quite seriously.
I do not think you understand what Special Needs are. These are not just lower functioning children. These are children that are deaf, blind, ADHD, medically impaired in some way, etc. A high percentage of children in Special Needs programs with an IEP are brilliant.
What exactly is it that you find wrong with this need, classification, or program? They do not wear Scarlet Letters as you seem to think.

Entropy's avatar

Two reasons – Economic and Political.

Political first. In a democracy, an educated populace will (we hope) make more informed decisions than an uneducated one. While you can (and likely will) insert your own cynical comeback to that assertion about whatever party is the opposite of your party, let’s be clear, an uneducated populace is EVEN EASIER to lead astray.

Second, economic. We want to keep the economy supplied with workers it needs to function. The west has alot of high skill economies and that requires education. We also want economic mobility, and education has proven to be one of the greatest tools for facilitating that. Most groups in the US that DO NOT see economic mobility, are the ones exposed to the worst primary education.

While those of us who are capitalist and believe in limited government definitely want government to do LESS than it currently does, you will struggle to find many who don’t agree that Universal Education is a legitimate public good. There’s alot of things the govt provides as public goods that many people would argue aren’t…but universal education is one that is broadly agreed upon.

Note that universal education doesn’t mean the govt has to be the PROVIDER of that education, just that it should make sure everyone CAN get that education. This is why many of us advocate for vouchers and other programs that get the government out of the business of providing education (which it has proven to be terrible at) and instead just use them to fund parental choice of education.

Now, as to where the cut off is – 18, 17, 19—- I mean, that’s arbitrary. You have to put a limit somewhere. We can’t pay for everyone in the country to become a PhD. Yet we want them to know enough to have a baseline understanding of reading, writing, arithmetic, civics, history, economics, and such. The end of high school emerged as the consensus in this culture. I wouldn’t strain too much looking for magic in the decision, alot of times, these things are just historical conventions.

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