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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tigers, Lions and Preserving Public Schools

In regard to whatever influence and effect the Tea Party people will have on the Republican Party, I am reminded of the old Chinese proverb stating that "He who rides the tiger is often afraid to dismount." A similar quote has been attributed to JFK. He is said to have pointed out that "He who rides the lion often ends up inside of him."

And in regard to Public Schools, I recently wrote a letter to the Palm Beach Post which they didn't publish. I think it is important enough to include on the blog. The column which the letter refers was written by someone interested in providing parents with the choice of what type of tax-supported school their child should attend. The text of my letter follows:

The “Hot Topic” column (Tues. 12/28), “Game Changing for Florida’s Schools” supported Governor Scott’s suggesting that parents might direct Florida’s educational tax money toward any “traditional public, public charter or private school they chose.” To make certain this did not violate the “uniformity” required of public schools by the Florida Constitution, the writer suggests that “all the state needs to ensure uniformity is to set basic standards as to what would make a uniform education.” This sounds suspiciously like the “separate but equal” doctrine which the Supreme Court repudiated 56 years ago in its historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision. We cannot be reminded often enough that at that time the Supreme Court unanimously said “We conclude that in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Public education must be strengthened, not weakened by siphoning off the tax dollars which support it to private schools which would adhere to the standards the writer proposed. This would still amount to the “separate but equal” education declared unconstitutional in 1954.

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