Indiana, PA - Indiana County

PHYLLIS CLARK: Cyber vs. brick-mortar schools

on March 27, 2013 11:00 AM

I am responding to Vicki Smith’s March 15 letter to the editor regarding the cost of cyber schools.

I admit that I am partial to Homer-Center School District, where my children attend/attended. We have been very satisfied with the teachers, the quality of their instruction and our children’s progress throughout the years.

It is true Homer-Center pays $11,085.58 for every cyber school student. However, Homer-Center spends $11,243.00 for every student, whether they’re in cyber school or not. (This is according to the Department of Education.)

I do share our school district’s frustration when cyber schools advertise that home schooling is free. It’s not. Nothing is free. Homer-Center taxpayers pay for all their residents’ school-aged children, whether attending cyber school, private school or on Homer-Center’s campus.

The truth is, like it or not, cyber schools are an alternative form of education that families have a right to choose.

What is sad is advertising dollars do not educate our children.

What frustrates me the most? The word “free.” Webster’s definition of “free” is: “not under the control or power of another; having liberty; independent.” For years Homer-Center served “free breakfasts” to our entire student body. I guarantee you, those breakfasts were no more free than cyber school, and Homer City residents had no choice in the matter.

As stewards of our taxpayers’ money, all school boards should be vigilant in lowering costs, not raising costs. Our taxes have gone up 70 percent over the last 10 years. We had no choice in that matter either.

Phyllis Clark

Homer City

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