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I realized it was "back to school" season when in today's mail there was an advertisement for a tuition-free virtual public school, serving kindergarten through the 12th grade. The text heralded the following:
At ***, your child will receive a high-quality, accredited public school education from home - tuition free! Our comprehensive virtual school, serving kindergarten through the 12th grade, is a leader in online learning in California.
Utilizing a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards, students at *** have the flexibility to learn at home with a uniquely individualized learning program that features:
- Talented state-certified teachers who pride themselves on their availability to their students
- Engaging, interactive technology that makes learning fun
- An award-winning curriculum developed by leading educational experts
- Parental involvement and social opportunities
Our dedicated teachers, experienced in online learning, will work with you to create a personalized learning plan that focuses on your child's strengths and needs, to foster a love of learning.
Testimonials followed from both a parent and student, along with the expected happy-people photos. Upcoming in-person or parent-led sessions were listed on the pamphlet. The notice on the front warned "Enroll now to ensure your spot for fall 2013!"
Don't be snuckered into thinking that the benevolent state has you and your children's interests in mind, and that you will be "safer" in a state-approved homeschooling situation. Not only is it not free (taxpayers foot the bill), but this is the means by which your local school district is willing to bargain to get the federal funds that accompany education. If they can't get the funds for having your child's body all the time, they will settle for less by offering perks with parents and then split the difference.
The "Child Catcher" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang lured children with candy. The modern child catchers entice parents with the offer of free books, computers, and "expert" instruction. The end is the same for both: captivity!
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