Candidate Profile: Victoria E. ‘Vicki’ Pate, Seat 3, Nikiski

Government-funded public schools not the way to go

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2005

Residence: 50075 Moose Run Road, Nikiski, AK 99635

Mail address: P.O. Box 7447, Nikiski, AK 99635

Contacts: 776-8926, home; 252-4852, cell

Age: 55

Years in the borough: 24

Family: Husband, Max, and six children

Occupation: Instrument technician

Education: Associate’s degree in in industrial instrumentation from Kenai Peninsula College in 1993

Previous elected office: N/A

Organizations: Alliance for the Separation of School and State, Advocates for Self-government, Alaska

1. What are the three biggest challenges facing the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District?

Parents who educate privately — either at home or utilizing a private school — plus childless taxpayers who object to forced subsidy of government schooling are currently not being represented by the school board. I am running to give them a voice.

I advocate replacing forced tax-payer funded schooling with Free Market Education, enjoying the kind of choices we now have in magazines, restaurants or churches. This quiet revolution is already happening one family at a time.

Those of us who have freed ourselves from government schooling realize that you can’t fix a bad system. There are challenges, however, to separating education from government funding, and these top three would be:

1) How can I provide a good education for my children?

2) How can we, as a community, best help the poor to have a good education also?

3) What about irresponsible parents?

2. How will you address these challenges?

1) Education and schooling are different. Each family should first determine what a good education looks like for them with the same fervor they use to investigate a new car purchase. Education should be compatible with the world-view which the parents seek to instill in their offspring. Next, realize implementing that concept might be different for each child. Home education provides the flexibility to tailor and change programs when needed. Some day, when more people remove their families from government schools, a greater variety of private schools will emerge. I plan to mentor these families plus advocate for more private choices.

2) A Universal Tuition Tax Credit program for Borough property taxpayers is a possible political step in the “sometime” future.

3) For the last 160 years government schools have fostered and subsidized parental irresponsibility. Conscientiousness is fostered by expecting trustworthiness and providing good examples — not enabling poor performance.

3. What will you do to ensure the district is funded equitably by the state?

Alaska spends more than a Billion dollars each year on government schools. Nationwide, the price tag is $690 billion. The school district consumes the lion’s share of the Borough budget. Inevitably, enough families will remove their kids from government schools that the system will implode.

What will you do with your 50 percent tax cut? Besides providing for your family’s education, you might contribute to a private K-12 scholarship fund to help the 30 percent low to moderate income families who will still need financial help.

Americans already contribute $175 billion a year to charities. It is prudent to predict that we’ll contribute the $20 billion a year needed to educate these poor children. No one wants an uneducated populace.

Nation-wide there are currently more than a hundred such K-12 private scholarship programs helping poor children afford a good education. Would you help me start one on the Kenai Peninsula?

4. For the third year Alaska reported schools that did and did not meet adequate yearly progress targets. Twelve KPBSD schools did not meet AYP, eight of those for the first time. How will you help schools meet these targets?

Children learn differently and at their own pace. No Child Left Behind is possible only if all children stand still!

Private home educators are exempt from the NCLB. When you are teaching your own children, you are acutely aware of what they understand and where they need help.

Our country was settled by problem-solving, entrepreneurial individuals who were educated, not schooled. Armed with the tools to learn what they needed when it was needed, they were already making their way in the world by thirteen. They weren’t warehoused in schools till twenty or more.

The Prussian model, on which American public schools are based, was designed to create complacent factory-workers, obedient soldiers, and subservient clerks. Third-world workers will work longer, harder and cheaper than our factory workers. Once again, we need a generation of problem-solving entrepreneurial individuals for our middle class to survive. We don’t need test-taking robots.

5. How does your role as a school board member benefit the people of your district, including students, families, teachers and others?

Concerned parents can have the education they seek, by removing their children from the government schools TODAY. Starting tomorrow, they can begin traveling the road to an honest education where the values that are taught are compatible with those instilled by the parents. I stand ready to facilitate the process.

When serious church-going Christian children graduate from twelve years of government schooling, a whopping 89 percent will discard their religion, become agnostics or reject Jesus as their Savior. Christians, do you want this for your children? Conversely, 98 percent of Christian home educated children retain their faith after graduation. Each church should have some K-12 educational program.

Teachers can be entrepreneurial. If like-minded teachers banded together to form their own school, their earnings would not be limited by a contract. Absent rigid rules, choking paperwork and frustrating administrators, teaching might even be rewarding again. Demand for education will still be there.

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