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Mary Burke for Governor

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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:19 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Why should taxpayers shell out for religious indoctrination? Does the separation of Church and State mean nothing to you?


Let's can the bullshit Henry, even if it was only for private non-religious schools you'd be pitching a fit, so spare me the separation of church and state line.

You went to catholic school Henry, tell me how much of your time was spent in religion classes? I seem to recall less than 10% of my time at Pius being spent learning religion, and of that about half was studying other religions not being indoctrinated into Catholicism. Maybe Pius was just better than Dominican.

And the separation does mean something. It means that the state should not be involved in matters of religious nature. It doesn't mean that the state should pretend that religions do not exist, or ignore the fact that religious groups can and do provide some benefit to the public (outside of their religious mission).

And there's a difference between taxpayers shelling out for religious schools (aka vouchers, which except for exceptional circumstances, I agree with you), and taxpayers being allowed to pay less taxes because they are paying to educate their children. My guess (at least in Milwaukee) is that many of the parents choosing private schools aren't selecting them for the religion classes in the first place.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:41 am

I had an hour of Catholic religious classes every school day. All other classes started with a prayer. I learned to say the Hail Mary in Latin and Spanish, as well as in English. History classes had a very Catholic bent. In biology class, the notion that God instilled a soul into the first humans was presented as a fact. All school masses occurred throughout the school year, during the school day, with mandatory attendance.

Fundamentalist run schools even have greater indoctrination. Even in their grade schools, math word problems involve prophets and other biblical references.

There is where the bullshit lies. No tax money should ever be used to support sectarian theology.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:19 am

Henry Vilas wrote:I had an hour of Catholic religious classes every school day. All other classes started with a prayer. I learned to say the Hail Mary in Latin and Spanish, as well as in English. History classes had a very Catholic bent. In biology class, the notion that God instilled a soul into the first humans was presented as a fact. All school masses occurred throughout the school year, during the school day, with mandatory attendance.

Fundamentalist run schools even have greater indoctrination. Even in their grade schools, math word problems involve prophets and other biblical references.

There is where the bullshit lies. No tax money should ever be used to support sectarian theology.



So you would be fine with a tax break for private school education then? (Don't worry, I don't expect you to answer that)

I'm guessing there was about 25-30 years difference between when you went to High School and when I did. Catholic schools have changed. Granted it's been 20 years since I graduated so maybe they changed back, but the only time I remember praying in class was before exams, and those were more of a private matter. The nuns who taught Biology or earth science never mentioned souls or the 7 days it took god to make the universe and while I didn't take latin (which wasn't required) I was never made to learn the Hail Mary in any language. We did have occasional masses, but while attendance was mandatory, attention was not.

In summation, stop basing your ideas of religious education on your 50 year old experiences.

And I would point out, with all the indoctrination you put up with and the indoctrination I received both in school and at home (My father is a retired priest and a professor of theology), I don't think either of us would be held up as an example of "good Catholics" by the church. It doesn't stick, unless the person in question wants to believe in something. On the other hand, I'd take the education I got from Pius in every other field over what I could have gotten at MPS.

So do I think that having an educated child is worth reducing their parents tax burden a small amount? Hell yes, but then as I said, I think any education related expense should be deductible. Is it worth the state paying extra for through vouchers, maybe not, unless the education available through the public schools is incredibly deficient.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:28 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:So you would be fine with a tax break for private school education then? (Don't worry, I don't expect you to answer that)

I assume you mean non-sectarian private schools. I don't think the wealthy parents who send their kids to University School need a tax break to afford tuition.

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I'm guessing there was about 25-30 years difference between when you went to High School and when I did. Catholic schools have changed.

Here is the current mission statement from Dominican High School, where I attended:

Dominican High School provides young adults with a co-educational Catholic college-preparatory experience based on the teachings of Jesus. Our faith-driven school community fosters spirituality and creativity, respects uniqueness and diversity, and encourages intellectual, social, physical and artistic development. We commission our students to develop a heightened sense of social responsibility and respect for human dignity based on the values articulated by the Sinsinawa Dominicans: Truth, Compassion, Justice, Community and Partnership.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:52 am

Henry Vilas wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:So you would be fine with a tax break for private school education then? (Don't worry, I don't expect you to answer that)

I assume you mean non-sectarian private schools. I don't think the wealthy parents who send their kids to University School need a tax break to afford tuition.


Yes, this is what I mean, and I wouldn't disagree with a income cap either. But you didn't actually address the specific question. Some middle class kids go to non-religious private schools, should their parents be allowed to claim it as a tax deduction?

Henry Vilas wrote:Here is the current mission statement from Dominican High School, where I attended:

Dominican High School provides young adults with a co-educational Catholic college-preparatory experience based on the teachings of Jesus. Our faith-driven school community fosters spirituality and creativity, respects uniqueness and diversity, and encourages intellectual, social, physical and artistic development. We commission our students to develop a heightened sense of social responsibility and respect for human dignity based on the values articulated by the Sinsinawa Dominicans: Truth, Compassion, Justice, Community and Partnership.


You're seriously basing your view of the school's class environment on it's mission statement? You aren't normally that naive.


Anyway, we are way off topic. Do you really think as a political move this is all the bright? She's taking away a tax deduction which will hurt middle class parents more than anyone else, and the only groups that are going to be at all excited by it are already supporting her as it is. If it were a move to get out the vote I could see that but it's way too early for that and teachers unions aren't going to be staying home in November anyway.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby snoqueen » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:14 am

I think Burke is making a statement that public school education is valuable in a larger sense. Instead of siphoning off the children of the most engaged middle class parents and enabling them to get a private school experience, we should be spending that same money to improve the public schools. That is so everyone can get a good education, and get it in a secular, multicultural environment that will prepare them for adulthood in a secular, multicultural world. I mean multicultural in the sense of integrating economic groups as well as religious, ethnic, and racial ones.

It's a statement of values and societal goals. If it takes away an tax break, the countervailing argument is the kids will be better off -- more socially competent, wider cultural experiences -- in the long run.

I am around a lot of home schooled kids these days. These are secular homeschoolers, not the religious type. They are advanced in so many ways: they can converse with adults in a mature manner, they can follow up on tasks on their own, they seem much more self motivated than their public school peers overall. I like being around them, but I always have this big question: do these kids know how to get along with kids (and adults) who are very much unlike them?

They'll need this skill sooner or later, and I wonder if it's not much easier to learn when you start at a very young age.

For comparison, think of those of us who an generation or two ago were raised in an entirely white environment where the biggest social difference was Lutheran or Catholic. This would include me. I had to learn to navigate and enjoy a multicultural world as an adult, and for this reason alone I think kids who get that experience from the get-go have a huge advantage and are far more likely to be successful at it.

That's why a well a functioning public school system is such a valuable part of the American experience.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:28 am

snoqueen wrote:I think Burke is making a statement that public school education is valuable in a larger sense. Instead of siphoning off the children of the most engaged middle class parents and enabling them to get a private school experience, we should be spending that same money to improve the public schools. That is so everyone can get a good education, and get it in a secular, multicultural environment that will prepare them for adulthood in a secular, multicultural world. I mean multicultural in the sense of integrating economic groups as well as religious, ethnic, and racial ones.

It's a statement of values and societal goals. If it takes away an tax break, the countervailing argument is the kids will be better off -- more socially competent, wider cultural experiences -- in the long run.


First off, I don't know if that is the statement that she is trying to make or not. If so, she's not making it in a clear manner that will draw more voters to her side. More importantly I think the idea that a tax break is siphoning off middle class parents is ridiculous. No one is going to chose to pay for education just because of a tax break. They will still be paying more than if they sent their kids public schools. Parents are choosing to send their kids where they think the kid will receive a better education. I don't think they should get vouchers necessarily to pay for that, but I do think any education cost should be deductible (possibly with an income cap).

From a personal standpoint, I'm not sending my kid to an MPS school because I want him to actually be educated and in a safe environment. Granted he is going to a charter and not a private/parochial school, but oddly enough he'll be going to a non-MPS school that has a very high percentage of students who are the children of MPS teachers. If that doesn't say something about the state of public schools (at least in Milwaukee) I don't know what does. I imagine black parents who want to make sure their children are well educated in Madison have the same reservations about MMSD schools.

It's not that I don't agree with the ideal of making public schools better, and I think we need to spend a hell of a lot more on public education. I just don't think it's fair to try and force public school attendance by increased financial pressures while some school districts are that bad. Ultimately the primary goal should be to produce better students, not better school districts. I want the later, but I think the former is more important.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:10 pm

I think that Mary Burke took this stand on this issue because of her experience as a school board member. She has first hand knowledge of the effect of state budget and policy decisions on public schools. And the fact is, there are finite tax dollars for education. Dollars that go to voucher schools, either directly or indirectly, are dollars that are no longer available for public schools. She is taking a stand against a Republican agenda that I believe has the ultimate goal of privatizing education.

I don't know how this will play out for Burke politically, but I understand the basis for her position and I agree with it.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Steve Vokers » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:23 am

Public education is socialism

Therefore, vouchers.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:41 am

Democratic Rep. Sondy Pope of Cross Plains told this newspaper that the growth of the voucher program shows the success of Republican efforts to shift tax dollars away from public schools and toward private ones.

Christina Brey, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, pointed to DPI data showing that nearly three-fourths of those taking advantage of the new voucher program last year had already been enrolled in private school, suggesting the program is just a way for families to shift one of their bills onto the state. “Many private schools see it as easy money — they’re looking for taxpayers to foot the bill,” she said.

And Dan Rossmiller, government relations director for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, said voucher popularity has “been generated, manufactured if you will, by a lot of promotion and advertising” by private schools.


Wisconsin State Journal
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby jonnygothispen » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:33 pm

http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2014/03/18/mu ... 1-51379089


Murphy’s Law:

Who Is Mary Burke?

After meeting and interviewing her, I still find Burke something of an enigma.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Stu Levitan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:07 pm

That's a really silly thing for Murphy to write, because the accompanying piece tells us a lot about Mary (most of it very good, in my opinion). I didn't get that line when I read it, still don't.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:10 am

Stu Levitan wrote:That's a really silly thing for Murphy to write, because the accompanying piece tells us a lot about Mary (most of it very good, in my opinion). I didn't get that line when I read it, still don't.


Lots about her life (which I agree for the most part is good), but he doesn't seem to nail down her political beliefs. I assume that's what he's referring to.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby snoqueen » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:04 am

I think he meant why is this woman running for the highest office in the state when she doesn't have a strong and lengthy history of passionate advocacy for any particular issue or side, doesn't act like she's "on fire," and doesn't seem to be a career politician.

To me, those are virtues at this time in Wisconsin, but to another person it could just seem enigmatic.
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Re: Mary Burke for Governor

Postby david cohen » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:00 am

Well she is not a politician. Isn't that what we all seem to bemoan, that government is led by career politicians? I would think the Tea Party would back Burke 100% on that angle;)
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