Off-Season Banter; Part II
Private vs. Public; And The Great Unfair Advantage
This is it. I've caved. I'm finally ready to side with the public schools in the debate over who has the unfair advantage in Illinois schools.
While I've always put up an argument for the private schools, while trying to stay somewhat natural in the good old "P vs. P" debate, I'm finally giving up and officially disclaiming that, almost all private schools in the state of Illinois if not the country have an unfair advantage over public schools. And while it may be possible that they don't use this advantage. It is most likely that they have no choice but to play along.
What is this huge advantage I have found? You ask. Did you find out they are giving full athletic scholarships to football players? No. Well, did they illegally (by IHSA standards) recruit star players away from public schools? No that's not it either. What I've stumbled upon is more shocking and more notorious than any X-File-ish theory that even Fox Mulder could come up with.
The private schools are using the registered voters to help boost enrollment. Yes, it's true. While the private schools might not realize it now, but the voters in at least three Illinois school districts may have helped to lower the bar for their private school counterparts.
An article in the Feb 27th Chicago Sun-Times, reported that three Illinois school districts shot down a property tax increase by a 2-1 margin. Schools in the districts may suffer from increased class sizes, loss of at least 100 teachers for Carpentersville and a possible budget cut of $1.6 million over two years for Gurnee.
Opponents of private schools within 30 miles of those three schools, you must boo those three schools whenever you feel you're losing due to an unfair advantage.
Fans of those private schools, you will have to display & give credit to for, any trophies you win until the next referendum for .009% of the year at the school closest to you. That would be the maximum percentage that would have been increased based on the assessment value of the property or roughly $900 per $100,000.
Before you hit the send button on the e-mail, I'm sure many of you are well on your way to typing about the P vs. P debate. Just stop. I've heard it already. This story isn't about the landslide victories that private schools landed in the Football State Finals. As a matter of fact it's not about football. It's about putting your money where your mouth is.
Private schools do have an advantage when it comes to budgets. They make their own and they do it based on what's best for the school. They do this because they have to. They have to compete with public schools who won't fold if enrollment drops and will always have a state or local government to fund them.
While I'm not a property tax payer I have a lot of married friends who are. And they're picking up themselves and their kids and moving to the Naperville's of the world because of the schools.
While I've never been a big fan of cookie cutter homes & strip malls, I will say Napperville is doing a great job in the schools. And you can bet that's the reason why they're the fastest growing city in Illinois. They don't go cheap on the kids.
So while you argue about not being able to afford an increase in property taxes. Ask yourself if you can afford to sit back and watch as the people and businesses leave your town to find better schools & better educated workers.
And maybe you'll be happy there was a private school near by to sustain a better education for those who still think that's the important thing. Of course will still understand if you not happy come playoff time.
Vote "Yes" the next time.
By Vincent Johnson
I apologize for debating something as silly as public vs. private when there are more pressing issues going on in the world.