Following is my reply to Tony's complete disregard of any of the substance of Dixon's article. Instead, Tony Messenger (he has to be a liberal because he has a typical liberal response), sensationalizes the fact that Dixon suggested union members who hurled obscenities were displaying "thug-" like behavior rather than actually replying to the valid points Dixon made.
One more thing. Tony keeps appealing to Republicans to work with Democrats on issues vital to our children's education, and now to work with Democrats on bills they've introduced which he feels will reduce our prison population. His only criteria seems to be that Republicans should stop name calling and unquestioningly support Democrat proposals. He has refused to intelligently discuss the other side of the issue regarding HB 808, has misinterpreted and misrepresented HB 808 and yet he expects Republicans to give him and his, apparently, Democrat 'cohorts' complete consideration and respect. It isn't a one way street, Tony. The sooner you learn that the better for everyone. When will you stop sensationalizing and consider Republican bills and proposals? How is your refusal to work with Republicans different than Republicans presumed refusal to work with Democrats?
Now, here's my response at his blog:
Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:41 pm Post subject: Dixon goes after "union thugs"
Dixon brought out some key points which Tony failed to address. (I quote Dixon straight from his article, except that I numbered the points):
1). HB 808 would have given students hope, improved opportunity, and used no public money.
2). Families who wanted to apply first had to do so at an accredited public school in their area. Only if rejected could they apply to a private school using the scholarship.
3). In 1983, the Supreme Court ruled in Mueller vs. Allen that tax credits are private money, not public.
Apparently, Tony still believes that the 80% of the revenues collected from private taxpayers to give scholarships to poor students in urban areas would go strictly to private schools. That is not what HB 808 specified but thus far, he refuses to acknowledge the fact that the 80% figure was designated to be used in QUALIFIED schools, qualified schools are/were identified as both public and private schools in HB 808, this fact has been called to his attention in a letter to the editor I wrote last week, though thus far, he refuses to correct his column which stated that 80% of the funds were required to go to private schools.
Now he is apparently appalled that someone would suggest that a gathering of teacher's union members yelling obscenities would constitute "thug-"like behavior? Certainly, I can see that someone who would imply that those who claim the bill was not a "voucher" bill were liars would be upset over name calling. ;)
If you can afford to send your children to a private Catholic school like Tony's own family could afford, in the case of his own high school education where he admits he received "a wonderful education," that's very special, just don't ask that those students who aren't as financially blessed to expect that same "wonderful education," why, they'd have to stay in school to receive it.
Let me ask, if these urban students in St. Louis and Kansas City are dropping out of school at percentage rates of 43% and 57% of prison inmates are drop outs, who is reaping the benefit of receipt of public revenue for their education today?
Money received from general tax revenue in Missouri by public schools will only be reduced if their student enrollment is reduced, right? Well, if 43% of students are dropping out, then NO school is receiving revenue on that 43% of students. Wouldn't it be better for SOME educational system to educate them and receive revenues than for NO educational system to educate them or receive revenue?
Are teacher's unions really saying, "If I can't have the money then NOBODY can have it!"
Further, Tony fails to address the loss of $200 million in state revenues due to drop outs in St. Louis and Kansas City, another point Dixon brought out. So, we're losing $200 million annually due to a 43% drop out rate but Tony's worried about poor, urban children's families' choosing private schools, after FIRST seeking an accredited public school in their region unsuccessfully?
Methinks Tony and the teacher's unions are so concerned about losing money that they are willing to sacrifice our state's children in the process.