A lot of parents know and realize the problems associated with the public schools. Public schools are plagued with two major problems.
Firstly, the quality of education and growth of a child is very poor in public schools.
Secondly, the environment and atmosphere provided by a public school may not be suitable for a Muslim child.
Well, what is the alternative? Why not move our children to private schools? The private schools will provide for a better quality of education, but you will have to pay the fees.
This naturally leads to the ideal solution of sending our children to private Muslim schools, that is, if our pockets allow it.
How the government taxes us for public schools
Let's look at the government funding provided to public schools a little more closely.
It is the money first earned by us, then extracted from us by taxation, and then returned to only some of us for education with many strings attached.
What if we could direct our tax dollars to a school of our choice? What if we could use our tax dollars towards tuition for our children in Muslim schools?
And yes we can-through the educational choice program. Why should we pay twice-once to the government and then to the private school? Instead, let's demand the educational choice option.
The educational choice program
The educational choice program opts for providing financial aid to parents via tax deductions, tax credits, vouchers or scholarships. Tuition tax credits and vouchers allow parents to use education dollars at private schools of their choice.
In tuition tax credit plans, parents can deduct education expenses from their income taxes.
In a voucher system, the state government provides education funds directly to families in the form of a voucher, and the family can then use the voucher in a public or private school of its choosing. Parents, not the state, decide how education dollars are spent.
Non-government schools are better
Non government schools have been closely studied by educators, sociologists, and political scientists.
The consensus is that they are more likely than government ones to have the characteristics of an effective school: strong educational leadership by the principal, high expectations, parental involvement, and a sense of teamwork shared by teachers and administrators.
Data on the performance of students in non government schools reveal that they generally outperform government schools even after family background and a student's prior academic achievement have been taken into account.
The success of non government schools suggests two things: first, that choice has tremendous power to improve existing schools; and second, that tax dollars directed to non government schools (or to the parents of children attending non government schools) would be purchasing a higher quality of education than is currently being delivered by government schools.
Dr. Coleman's pioneering work documented the superiority of non government schools, and Chubb and Moe's work has documented why non government schools outperform government schools.
The essence of their success is that they are subject to market control, meaning they must compete with one another for the loyalty of parents. This competition has led them to shun bureaucracy, to preserve the integrity of their curricula, and to maintain channels of communication for parents during a time when government schools often grew bloated, lost their educational missions, and refused to listen to parents.
Spending more doesn't improve student achievement
Non government schools generally spend considerably less per pupil than do government schools, yet they achieve superior results.
The average per-pupil spending in Catholic high schools is approximately half that of government schools.
Spending more doesn't produce better government schools because much of the new money is wasted on higher salaries and bureaucracy.
Since their income is not tied to their performance, more money just rewards wasteful habits.
If more funds won't improve the government schools, different solutions must be pursued. The best available research repeatedly points to the merits of choice.
The Catholics tried this in New York in 1842, they were denied public funding of Catholic Schools. As a Christian, i do not want my tax dollars to go to teach Islam. If Muslims want to enjoy our freedoms, you must adhere to US laws, not try to change them to suit a Muslim culture or even worse, shariah law. Fund you own schools, just like the Christians do.
Assalaamu alaykum,While the writer makes some good points, I see an unfortunate tendency of some Muslims to bash public education. Public education overall is doing a good job with Muslim students. My non-Muslim mother and father have worked a combined total of over 60 years in public schools, and many of the children whose lives they touched were Muslim. I am a convert and I work in an Islamic school, but I still support public education.Another point is that many parents fail to provide an Islamic atmosphere at home and then expect the school to do all their work for them. I have met Muslim public school students with better adab than many of the Islamic school students I teach. I hear first-graders discussing R-rated movies they watch, and fourth-graders reviewing the latest obscene Eminem album. Why pay money for an Islamic school if your home environment doesn't support it?With all due respect, I believe Muslims in America need to involve themselves more in public education rather than support vouchers and other programs which have been proven failures in most places.Wassalaam,Ammaarah
This is all great! Though as an educator and parent, I still have concerns. Often, "religious" private schools do not offer the same quality of academic excellence as some other private schools and select public schools. I do believe the horror stories, though. It is a tough decision for a parent. Out side of homeschooling, many Muslim parents are in a "bad" situation. With our Islam, why can we not offer quality education as well as the Muslim environment? We should be able to be professional and organized as well. And I believe money is not the biggest issue.
Greetings. I was truly amazed to know that there are choices regarding our tax dollars, especially school taxes. My husband and I just recently move to this state and the educational system has been our main concern. We are deeply disappointed with the school system. We are presently looking to put our children in a Islamic school. We have two children, that we pray Insha Allah that this September they will be in a Islamic environment. We have been through alot with the school system, because we choose to keep our children out of their corrupted school system. There are many muslim's in this area that do not know about having their tax dollars pay for their childrens education. There have been some real horror stories with muslim children in the public schools here. Please send me any information regarding this matter.May Allah grant us Ikhalaas Peace, Niemah
TRUE UMM SARAH!
KEEP IT UP KIDDA!!
would be nice to offer some places to contact to find out about states offering this, or where in each state to contact to find out more about this.
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