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Old 06-17-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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Can't remember what they are called off the top of my head, but has MN ever had a program where citizens could use their public education tax dollars toward paying for their child to go to a private school instead?
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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No.

Minnesota does have open enrollment so you can send your kid to another district assuming that school has room for them. There's also a lot of charter schools. You can not use state dollars for a private school though. I have heard some offer nice sized scholarships to those who qualify.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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No, because we don't need them. With the outstanding public schools private schools are not a priority here. Also, like Kebin said, we have statewide open enrollment so if you don't like your home district you can apply to move to another one-for free.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:47 PM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
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We have some very good public schools but the top three private schools in the Twin Cities--Breck, Blake, and Minnehaha-- are just so much better. Tuition is not subsidized by the state though assistance may be available. If you are willing to make the sacrifice, the quality of the educational is phenomenal. To those who choose to go this route, education is a very high priority.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Glenfield View Post
We have some very good public schools but the top three private schools in the Twin Cities--Breck, Blake, and Minnehaha-- are just so much better. Tuition is not subsidized but for those who are willing to make the sacrifice, the quality of the educational is phenomenal. To those who choose to go this route, education is a very high priority.
I disagree--I know plenty of people that have sent their kids to various top private schools around the metro and they all say the same thing, the programs and classes aren't any better than what they had in their public schools--what is missing is the behavior issues teachers have to deal with in the public schools. Most of our friends that send their kids to private schools do so for the religious aspect of the schools, not because the schools are any better or worse then the public schools. Now, there are a handful of public school districts that aren't as good but when you compare the top 20 or so districts around the metro, you don't see any appreciable difference in test scores, program offerings, etc.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenfield View Post
We have some very good public schools but the top three private schools in the Twin Cities--Breck, Blake, and Minnehaha-- are just so much better. Tuition is not subsidized by the state though assistance may be available. If you are willing to make the sacrifice, the quality of the educational is phenomenal. To those who choose to go this route, education is a very high priority.
Not everyone agrees on that. Those schools have a good reputation, and the quality of education IS high, but I have friends who have gone there or who have sent their children there and have not found the quality of education to be so different. (and in several cases, they have chosen to send others kids to the public route, or in one case, switch one student out to public high school) Obviously it depends on the quality of the public school being compared, though, as well as the needs of the specific student. Those schools are good fits for some families and students, but are not the right fit (academically or otherwise) for others. In any case, I think this is an overstatement.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I disagree--I know plenty of people that have sent their kids to various top private schools around the metro and they all say the same thing, the programs and classes aren't any better than what they had in their public schools--what is missing is the behavior issues teachers have to deal with in the public schools. Most of our friends that send their kids to private schools do so for the religious aspect of the schools, not because the schools are any better or worse then the public schools. Now, there are a handful of public school districts that aren't as good but when you compare the top 20 or so districts around the metro, you don't see any appreciable difference in test scores, program offerings, etc.
I agree with some of this, but not all. None of my friends who have gone with the Breck and Blake route (which I think for practical purposes are very secular) have done so for religious reasons, although that probably is true of those who go for other, more overtly religious schools (and not sure about Minnehaha Academy -- they are far more overtly religious in mission, so I assume more people do choose them for religious reasons as well as academic). I also don't think it's useful in the least to look at district, not school; you're not sending your kid to a "district," you're sending your child to a specific school. Districts don't make much difference when you're looking at many areas of the Twin Cities, particularly the larger districts that have multiple middle schools and high schools.

For what it's worth on the behavior issue, I think it's true that the regular classes at the private schools obviously don't have to deal with the classroom problems that you find in some public schools; on the other hand, the private schools have their own sets of behavior problems (although more often out of school) -- I grew up with many friends who went to the schools mentioned, and they were exposed to FAR more binge drinking and drugs (hard-core drugs at that) than we were at my urban public school. Not all the kids engage in that, of course, and the rates of experimentation are probably no different than what you find in one of the metro area's wealthier public high schools, but it's something that would definitely keep me on my toes if I were the parent of a teenager at, say, Blake. Of my admittedly outdated and purely anecdotal survey, I think Breck and Blake seemed to have more problems of that sort (as well as a higher "snootiness" factor) than Minnehaha Academy, which always seemed more grounded. Fair or not, I have a pretty negative view of Blake and Breck, perhaps just because so many of the kids I knew there (and graduates I've met out in the "real" world) seemed to be more into partying than they were into school, although they did manage to balance both quite well.

I think some of the local private schools offer an excellent education, but don't agree that they are necessarily automatically better than all of the alternatives. There are just too many other factors at work.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
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GG and UU, We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I was reacting a bit more to the "we don't need them" view of private education, which I thought was a bit over the top. I am not anti public education but feel that since its one size fits all approach is not everyone, there is definitely a place for private education. Sure, if you compare the best student at the best public school to the schools I mentioned the gap narrows but, generally speaking, the three schools I mentioned offer a better education to their students than the average public school does to theirs. Parents thinking about school options from Pre-k through 12 should contact one of the three schools I mentioned, go over the facts with the admissions officers, and make their own decision. UU is right that there are many factors at work. Please don't take my opinion or the responders' and leave it at that.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenfield View Post
We have some very good public schools but the top three private schools in the Twin Cities--Breck, Blake, and Minnehaha-- are just so much better. Tuition is not subsidized by the state though assistance may be available. If you are willing to make the sacrifice, the quality of the educational is phenomenal. To those who choose to go this route, education is a very high priority.
Even if MN had school vouchers, there would still be a considerable out of pocket expense to cover tuition at schools like Breck or Blake.

What does Minnesota spend per pupil annually? Take 90% of that figure and there's the amount of the voucher (or tax credit)

Breck's tuition

Pre/K Half Day $16,070
Pre/K Full Day $21,870
Grades 1-4 $23,515
Grades 5-8 $24,135
Grades 9-11 $24,290
Grade 12 $24,495


Minnesota does not need a private school voucher program.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: South Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzie679 View Post
Minnesota does not need a private school voucher program.
For those who have the financial means to pay tuition, I tend to agree. For those in lower income brackets I can see an argument that they be allowed to take their school dollars where they see the best value, whether it's through open enrollment or charter schools, as it is now, or to a private school. On the other hand, I think people tend to value things that they pay for more than free stuff.
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