The first thing I did was visit the table set up by the door which was covered with papers, bumper stickers and various other goodies. I picked up one of the papers that had Champion and Harpool plastered all over the front of it with little summaries of their views on Healthcare Cuts, Lifesaving Cures Through Stem-Cell Research (Amendment 2) and School Vouchers. The paper was paid for by Harpool New Direction Committee.
I took a seat in the second row of chairs and began to look over the front page of the Harpool paper. I read there:
"Champion supports taking dollars originally allocated for the public school system and diverting those moneys to individuals to attend private schools - the program is commonly referred to as a "voucher program."
"Harpool opposes vouchers. He believes that we should support our public schools, not abandon them."
Being a supporter of school vouchers I naturally bristled at the implication made by the Harpool paper that if you support school vouchers that translates into a desire to "abandon" public schools. It is just this sort of divisive language that keeps us from being able to discuss policies and ideas openly. So, I was thinking to myself, I hope Ms. Champion will mention her stand on school vouchers when she speaks when, about that time, Ms. Champion arrived and sat in a seat about three down and directly in front of me. I approached her, shook her hand and told her that when I was five or six years old I had been on "Children's Hour" with her and that she had scolded me for using my modeling clay to smear out a picture on a piece of paper rather than modeling something with it. I mentioned that the paper seemed to cast her in a bad light and, at that point I don't think she realized I was talking about the Harpool paper because she said the paper didn't endorse her and that was why...I didn't even realize until a moment ago that the paper was paid for by Harpool's committee. That explains the unflattering pictures of Champion and the glowing, toothy smiles of Harpool. Duh.
After Champion spoke and there was a call for questions no one appeared to be getting up to ask a question so I thought I'd give it a shot. Thinking about the vouchers I wanted to give her an opportunity to expound on her reasons for supporting them. I was surprised to find that she doesn't support school vouchers at all, so I guess Harpool or his paper are lying...I mean, if she says she doesn't support them why does his campaign rag state that she does? Politics is a dirty business, ain't it?
She said there were other ways that parents who wanted to send their children to private schools or home school them could have their expenses off set. Such as giving them tax credits.
I wish I could tell you more because she gave a rather lengthy list of other ways the issue could be addressed but apparently, though I thought I had my recorder turned on I didn't get anything recorded, isn't that special? All I can find is the recording of a police officer who spoke at my AWANA Sparkies Club meeting last night and my nephew saying "hello, Jacke."
You might find the police officer's comments interesting but they wouldn't tell you much about Champion's views on how to compensate parents for sending their children to private schools or for home schooling them. I'm not supposed to be *professional* am I? I'm just a lowly blogger doin' this fer kicks. You can sue me out of the stinkin' high pay I get fer doin' this.
Anyway, should parents get new money out of taxpayer's dollars for choosing to send their children to private schools or home schooling them? That doesn't seem to be a very "conservative" approach to me. I still like the idea of reimbursing them by voucher, that way they would simply be getting some of the money back they are paying into the system for access to public education of which they are not taking advantage rather than forcing them to pay for something they aren't using and then forcing all other taxpayers to give them credits or other forms of reimbursement.
I suppose all the money comes from the same place anyway, right? OUR POCKETS. Lots of people pay into the public school system who don't have children enrolled in government schools, unless you consider grandchildren, great grandchildren, infinity. If we pay it in one place and take it out another place we're still all depending on the government, huh? Dang it, now I'm thinking I don't like government schools (but support them anyway because what else can we do?) and I don't think government is responsible for paying for other's choices not to use the government school system either. Sigh. I guess I'm still trying to "figure it out as I go along."*
Thanks, Libertarian Guy, for the head's up...I enjoyed it and yer still tew kewl.