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Friday, November 16, 2007

School board member Price says "public education is not a right" (plus: Price talks to himself?!)

Since I've commented on what happened at the deposition yesterday, I might as well throw in my two cents on something else regarding disgraced Rockingham County Board of Education member Ron Price. It has to do with something that he wrote on his own blog last week...
"It should be acknowledged that public education is not a right but a privilege given to the youth of today to secure the future. Over 75% of the public paying for public education do not have students in the public schools but all pay for public education to provide a means of securing the blessings of liberty and prosperity for ourselves and our posterity."
So now Ron Price, school board member, is telling us that our children have no right to public education.

Funny that he didn't mind telling us that during last year's school board race.

Ron Price has obviously never examined the Northwest Ordinance, which not only established that there is a right to public education but also that government had a high responsibility in funding it. We can debate the extent of government's involvement in education (including whether or not the federal government should play the role that it has now with it) but as the Northwest Ordinance was written, education was certainly a right that local government was called upon to make allowances for.

I don't mind saying this either, after following his blog from the beginning: Ron Price is a terrible bore and a far worse blogger. He speaks of concepts that he has the least grasp of and makes as if he were some statesman at the Continental Congress. And then there is the peculiar manner in which Price manages his blog: this post of his from August was originally something by, I think it was Franklin Roosevelt. Price wiped that one and replaced it with a quote by Ronald Reagan, while keeping the original date. You can still see evidence for the initial post in its permanent link: "Pillar of our Republic", which was about the Bible. I'll hold off on commenting as to whether Price has read his.

Ahhh what the heck, I might as well go three for three...

Word has reached The Knight Shift blog that in the words of one very credible source, Ron Price "talks to himself".

Apparently, Price has a "very strange" habit of writing e-mails to people and then responding back to his own e-mails. The effect is in the words of one source "as if he's talking to a whole different person".

I have not seen these e-mails myself, but there are now multiple sources - all very reliable - who are telling me this.

I suppose it's possible that Price is attempting something along the lines of "Socratic dialogue": the style of philosophical discussion that Socrates and his pupil Plato (and Plato's student Aristotle) were known for. But in light of how he bungles his blog, color me skeptical.

(Maybe we should start calling him "Socrates Price" ...?)


Anonymous said...

Public education IS a privilege, rather than a right under our government. That is the basis of authority for schools using out-of-school suspension and expulsion as a means of discipline.

As long as students obey the rules of order set down by school administration, and desire the education offered by the school, and live within that school district, they may attend that school and enjoy the benefits of public education. But if there's any question about the student's willingness to abide by the rules and work toward achieving that education, the school administration has the authority to kick that student out of the school with no legal recourse for the student.

It works in a similar manner to the issuance of drivers licenses. As long as you desire the license, and are willing to obey the rules of the road, the state will allow you to drive. But if there's any question about your ability to safely operate a vehicle on the roads, the state can pull your license immediately, leaving you with no legal recourse.

Chris, you do yourself an disservice by being nit-picky with Ron Price's school board-related comments. Sufficient is the REAL detrimental things he has done to merit your comments.


Chris Knight said...

I see a lot of merit to what you're saying here, Scrootch. I also still believe that as it is currently established, public education is a right and not a privilege. "Privileges" aren't something you compel people to fund i.e. if you want to drive a car you must pay for the license fee, the car, the insurance etc. Taxpayer money isn't supposed to pay this for you.

But consider this also: if that's the case that education is a privilege then a lot of other things, such as being able to vote and live where one wishes, are privileges also.

Except those and other things are rights too, until the person does something to give up those rights. Namely, becoming a convicted felon.

So long as money is being compelled from us in the form of taxation to fund it, public education is going to be a right that the parents can choose whether or not they wish to exercise. They can choose public education, or they can choose to place their children in private schools.

You want public education to become a serious privilege? Then remove federal funding of it altogether and make it something funded entirely by local and state money, where the parents and the rest of the voters will have 100% control over the matter.

Anonymous said...

I think Scrootch is the one being nit-picky by citing expulsions as evidence that a public education is a privledge rather than a right.

Student expulsions are an exception, not a rule. Everybody who behaves, the vast majority, have a right to attend public school because they're forced to pay for it through taxation.

Some school systems are under court order to provide better educational experiences because the courts have ruled a sound education is a basic right of all citizens.

I'm not defending the system, I'm just describing it.