REPORT #51 Mar 1999

Produced by the Belize Development Trust
Interesting legislation in debate in Florida right now. It is about the Governor Bush wanting to issue School Vouchers. Not sure how it works, but the State government matches funds or something with County governments who collect money from local taxes to provide for schools. Property tax pays the County share among other things. But the State Government gives a huge amount.

The Governor and his party are pushing a bill for School Vouchers. So many public paid schools fail consistantly at the national standards tests, that they are a disgrace. They have tried throwing money at the problem for years, regulations by the tens of thousands, with no improvements. Hundreds of public supported schools are consistantly giving a below par education. Got a neighbor kid that is in Grade 9 High School and he cannot even read Grade 2 level. But they get promoted anyway. Can't keep them back in school in public taxpaid schools.

The solution being debated is to give parents a school voucher, about $4000 per child it costs the taxpayer and let them choose the private school they want to go to. The only criterion, the private school has to give the kids the national tests and they have to pass to keep qualifying for children and vouchers.

Privatization of education. The private schools do so much better than public schools.

Now Belize has the same problem, with public taxpayer schools. So why not privatize it? How much is it costing per child in elementary school for a child? How about a school voucher and annual test for children with national standards and lets go to privatized goal orientated education in Belize? Might be cheaper for the government and certainly at a lot of schools I can think of, it would be more successful for a child's education.

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