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VOUCHING FOR VOUCHERS



Published: Tue, February 10, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

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Kindergarten class at Youngstown Christian took a break and enjoyed the outdoors with their teacher Susie Hartman

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Third graders of Mary Mounce at Youngstown Christian School work on a reading program

By Harold Gwin

Private schools, parents sing the praises of EdChoice

Some 3,600 children in Mahoning and Columbiana counties are eligible to apply for state Educational Choice Scholarships that they can use to pay their tuition at private schools this fall.

That’s the number enrolled at nine academically troubled public schools that are on the state’s EdChoice (school voucher) list for 2009-10.

No Trumbull County schools are on the list this year. Washington Alternative School in Warren was on it last year, but the district has closed that school, moving some of its children back into regular education programs and others to a new middle school transitional program.

The EdChoice program was created by the state three years ago to provide children in under-performing public schools the opportunity to attend private schools willing to accept them.

The state pays the private school’s tuition charge, or $4,500 for elementary school pupils (kindergarten through eighth grade) and $5,300 for high school students (grades nine through 12), whichever is lower.

The program has been a boon to some private schools, providing additional outside revenue.

Youngstown Christian School is a prime example.

Of its 430 children in kindergarten through 12th grade, 131 are EdChoice Scholarship recipients who would normally be attending Youngstown city schools.

“It’s been very beneficial to us,” said Michael Pecchia, Youngstown Christian president, noting that his school is receiving about $400,000 this year in EdChoice revenue, nearly one-fourth of the school’s $1.7 million operating budget. That’s less than the maximum scholarship funds could provide because Youngstown Christian’s tuition is at $4,500 for high school students, $3,335 for those in grades seven and eight and $2,995 for those in K-6.

There are also discounts for families with more than one child in the school, he said.

Stephanie Comek-Cruz and her husband, Edward Cruz, of Youngstown, between them, have six children enrolled at Youngstown Christian, four of them EdChoice Scholarship recipients.

Comek-Cruz grew up in Youngstown and said that, although her children did well in a city elementary school, her concern focused on when they advance to high school level and reports of behavior issues she’s heard of there.

She likes the Christian-based atmosphere at Youngstown Christian and the one-on-one attention available to children there.

“It’s worked out wonderful,” she said.

Her son, Kenneth John Vogt, is in seventh grade, daughter Laura Vogt is in fifth and twins Sadie and Chasie Vogt are in second grade, she said.

EdChoice is “just a blessing,” she said, adding, “I couldn’t afford it otherwise.”

There are up to 14,000 of the scholarships available annually across the state. Only 3,000 were granted in the program’s first year, but about 10,000 are in use this school year.

Once a child receives a voucher, they can continue to renew it every year up through graduation from high school, provided that certain criteria are met.

Those now attending a public school in their resident district that has been rated by the state in Academic Emergency or Academic Watch for two of the past three years are eligible to apply. Public school pupils attending a school in their resident district that will be assigned to an emergency/watch status school in the upcoming school year are also eligible to apply. Those currently attending a charter/community school whose home school is an eligible school on the state list can apply as well.

Children now attending private school and home-schooled students are not eligible.

Registration for 2009-10 is open through April 17.

Cynthia and John Washington had been wanting to get their two children, John and Jazlyn, into a private school and were each working two jobs to get the money to pay tuition costs, Cynthia said. She said she attended private school growing up in New York City and wanted the same educational experience for her children.

They both lost their jobs in the recent economic crunch and weren’t aware of the EdChoice program until Youngstown Christian informed them of its existence, she said.

Both children were granted the scholarships, and John is now a sophomore at Youngstown Christian while Jazlyn is an eighth-grader at the school.

Hope Kurdyla of Youngstown said her daughter, Cristen Manion, has been an EdChoice Scholarship recipient for three years. She’s a junior now at Youngstown Christian and is getting a “wonderful education and learning about God,” Kurdyla said.

Her daughter did well at the Youngstown middle school she was attending and was in the gifted program, but Kurdyla said she feared her daughter’s education would lag in the city high school system.

She and her husband, Darren, have two younger girls in a Youngstown elementary school and are considering applying for EdChoice assistance to send them to Youngstown Christian when they reach the seventh grade, she said.

The scholarship program made Youngstown Christian available to her two sons, Jacob, a fifth-grader, and Marcus, a third-grader, said Denise Roman of Youngstown.

She said she likes the school’s Christian background and the positive influence of the other children who attend there.

Pecchia said part of the Youngstown Christian screening process requires that a pupil’s family be active in its church.

The private schools in the program can select which pupils they want to admit as the children must meet that school’s criteria. Those applying for the scholarships must first be accepted by a private school enrolled in the program, and that school aids in the application process.

Kim and Antwon Snyder of Youngstown have four children enrolled at YCS through EdChoice Scholarships.

“It’s going very well,” she said, explaining that she sees Youngstown Christian as a “better environment” for her children with its “Christian base” and “more advanced” education.

Her son, Deon Gilbert, is in the ninth grade, daughter Destinee Snyder is in sixth and twins Imane and India Snyder are in the second grade.

“They like everything about the school,” Snyder said.

gwin@vindy.com


Comments

1Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Notice that students featured in the article were all described as "doing well" in their public schools. Despite that, the current state policy allowed them to remove tax funding from their public schools. That money was channeled instead to a school that promotes (proudly) a specific fundamentalist Christian religion.

For supporters of this policy who will say that the parents have just removed their own paid taxes from the system, I submit that the family above who has six children is probably not paying upwards of $18,000 in property taxes.

Because our public schools are already suffering from lack of sufficient funding although the tax-payers have contributed their limit, I would suggest that families who turn their back on public schools pay their own way for that decision. They have not "lost" their tax money because of this. The public school continues to be available to them at all time.

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2EricLW(66 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Corrupted organized religion at it's finest.

Sad...Very sad. I'd never send my kid to a school to get his/her mind warped. But I'm sure the churches love it since they can convert another soul to pay X amount of dollars in the plate every time he/she shows up for church for LIFE. Oh well. It's a win / win for the church. The only reason why religious schools are so popular. They can mend the mind at a early stage. Don't have to teach them "REAL" science. Man walked withe dinosaurs and the earth is only 6000 years old. Is it any wonder why this country is so screwed up?

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3ws2000(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

My biggest problem with vouchers is the same problem I have with NCLB: Private schools can be selective in who they accept, public schools are stuck with everyone they get.

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4allstar720(246 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Why don't these voucher schools take special ed or behavior kids? Why are the public city schools left with the most difficult kids to educate? Why do voucher schools get years of grace period before they have to meet AYP and why can they close and reopen under different management and receive a whole new grace period before meeting AYP?

Lastly, why do citizens blame teachers and schools for their own lack of proper parenting and the lack of values that normal kids are raised with?

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5SeriouslyThough(3 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As I sit here and read these comments I am just sick... Many of you seem to have a problem with the fact the some people actually have a little thing called "FAITH". To the person who speaks of mind warping and brain washing, I feel bad for the people that are subjected to your warped way of thinking. If our country would get back to the basic fundamentals that it was founded on, may be then it would not be so "screwed up".

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6Jesus_Is_Lord(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To comment on the person who said we turned our back on the publice schools, I would like to say that the public schools as a whole have turned their back on God. There are many good people in the public school system. But even they are pressured every day by the rules to not share their faith in God with the students. At our home, the most important thing we as parents need to do is share our faith in God with our children. And I love the fact that our children get to be free and live out their faith when they leave our home, and that includes at school among their peers and friends.

As for the person who says that we are warping the minds of our children, I would have to say that you have taken for granted too many things in your life that God has freely given you in spite of your ignorance - a new day, the air to breathe, and legs to walk. I could go on forever on all the things God gives us every day. As for me and my family, we just want to give credit where credit is due - to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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7EricLW(66 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To the whacked out posters above. You can think evolution and science when you read or reply to these posts.

Our Country was NOT founded on religion. Look at the mayflower, we were trying to get away from religion. Why do you think we escaped to what is now called "America" that's right... Freedom of Religion. That is why we have separation between church and state.

Now for the really religious bible thumper, isn't it time for you to go back to church... yes... I think it is, and please put an extra 5 bucks in the plate for me. Do you really think God needs money? No? Then why put any money in the plate at all? Surly your not going to buy your way into heaven. Think about it! Money is the root of all EVIL, so why give it to the church?

Evolution and Darwin rules! Take that you heathen

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8Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Your faith is great, Believers. I am a Christian myself, only one who thinks our God is too great to fit our man-made rules for Him.

I do not think that our Constitution allows my tax dollars to promote your religion above others.
And to tell the truth, I am really, really tired of the trend lately that takes my tax dollars to put into private hands. That includes Churches and for-profit Charter schools, and any other company that take advantage of programs to help the young, elderly, and mentally ill to fill their own coffers.

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9JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Amen, Ed_Voter.

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10city_dweller(193 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

What the Mahoning Valley needs is a quality, secular private school -- not a charter school, but a school with rigid and proven academic standards that performs at the level of most Catholic and other religious-based schools, but without the religion. Cleveland has a very impressive group of independent schools that serve the needs of those who want private, secular education.
http://www.ccis-ohio.org/homepage.aspx

There are many people, myself included, who value religion, but don't necessarily want God to have a front-row seat in their lives. I'm also opposed to many of the civil rights restrictions covertly (and overtly) expressed by religious schools, such as denying admission to children of gays and lesbians, firing single, female teachers for getting pregnant, and not teaching evolution. Yes, these schools, being private, have every right to espouse their beliefs in any manner they see fit. But it would be really great if we had a school that offered the same educational environment sans the religious doctrine. It's not fair that our options are limited to poor public education or religious private education.

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11tll3023(35 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To EricLW,

You give to churches because they have bills to. It takes money to run any building, they have electric, heat, water etc. The things you say are just plain ignorant, I will pray for you because with the attitude and mind set you have you are going to need it. Instead of putting down the things of God, why don't you thank him for everything you have. It's people like you that have ruined our country. God must come first in everything! Since God has been taken out of our schools they have slowing went to pot. Most families have takin God out of their lives and their homes and thats why there has been a BIG problem in familes. Some day (hopefully it won't be to late) you will see the Grace and Love God has for you and you will accept him for your Lord and Savior, because without him we are nothing. !@!!

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12Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

God has not been taken out of our public schools. The practice of saying the Protestant version of the "Our Father" after announcements has, because frankly, it made some of us feel like aliens in our own school.
The majority of public school teachers are seen in church pews on Sunday. There are religious clubs, discussions of the role of religion in holidays and history, and discussion of personal belief.
What public schools do NOT do is promote the Protestant religion as superior to all others. That is the correct stance for building a strong, patriotic citizenry in a diverse nation.

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13allstar720(246 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I brought up valid questions about public education and it turns into a religious debate. That's what's wrong with this country, let alone public schools.

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14hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Allstar, voucher schools never have to make AYP. (Adequate Yearly Progress) Only their voucher students take state tests, but those scores are kept secret...so it's pointless anyway. This keeps us from comparing these schools with the schools they took funding from.

More importantly, since I find myself recently unemployed, I'd like to be able to remove funding from my local park (Mill Creek) in order to pay my membership fee to Tippecanoe Country Club. Granted I could play at Mill Creek Golf Course -- but getting a tee time there can be a hassle, never mind the wait for a tennis court sometimes at Wick Recreation Center. Anyway public parks are just...so...you know, public.

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15hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

After all, I've paid taxes for parks and recreation my whole life while my children and I used the country club instead -- saving the park wear and tear and employee costs.

And since I'm not going to use the golf course, they should be able to get by with less maintenance and employees, right? I mean shouldn't the money I'm taking out be equalized by the money they are saving by my absence?

Please give the check directly to Tippecanoe Country Club, Tippecanoe Rd., Canfield, OH.

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16savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As a mother of two children in the 8th grade @ Y.C.S. I thank God everyday for the privelege of being able to send my children there. I do have the choice to send them to a good public suburban school, but buy the grace of God; I; chose to make the sacrifice to send them to a Bible teaching and faith living school! Not only are my children honor students, but they have the morals that many teens lack today; and Y.C.S. only supports those morals and values that they are taught at home and at our church, Our constitution offers freedome OF religon, no where is it written there should be freedom FROM religon.The next time you read about a tradegy ( collumbine) dont say "oh my God why" remember ... you dont want Him in your schools.
Once again... I PRAISE THE LORD FOR THE GIFT OF YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

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17Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Let's be clear here. You certainly do have freedom to seek alternative education. Citizens of Youngstown have done this for decades. I just ask that you simply pay for your own decision to opt out -- or that your church as a supportive group pays for that decision together for the children of the church. Parochial schools have done this for a hundred years.

The problem involves taking taxpayer dollars to unconstitutionally support a SINGLED OUT religion -- and of course, this was never brought to a vote of the taxpayers. The article states that children recruited from the public schools would be expected to be active not only in school, but in the church. Therefore, our tax dollars are being used to build your church membership.

It also involves the withdrawal of funding from struggling school systems, causing taxpayers being asked to increase our contributions to pay for several systems: charter schools, voucher schools and traditional schools.
The irony of the whole story is that not one interviewed parent had complaints about the achievement of their children in traditional schools. Check your article.

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18Activist(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I think that it is sad to see people comment that don't even understand what the school is about. My child is in kindergarten at YCS and I am thankful for the voucher. You do not have to belong to a certain church. You just have to go to church ANY christian based church. How is that a bad value. Also I am not sure about this but as I see it, how is it taking tax dollars away? I pay all my taxes to the city of Youngstown plus I even voted for the levy so I pay for that too. I still chose to send my daughter to YCS. I would have paid but then I learned about ED-CHOICE. I count that as a blessing.

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19hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Activist, I think it is pretty clear that it is you that doesn't understand. If you would have paid to attend your church school, you should. As for the requirement to attend the church, that is from the comments of your administrator in the article above. I suggest you read it.

I know that the churches involved in your school include Highway Tabernacle and other evangelical churches. My church is not involved. So you should find out more about your own school and how your EdChoice voucher has hurt the schools in your own community.

You can check out stories about school funding from the last few weeks'.

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20Activist(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To Hellsbells,
Okay I do not completely understand the tax issue and how it hurts our community but I will get further educated on that. The church I attend is Holy Trinity Baptist Church and I just had to have our Pastor fill out a paper to say that we attend.I was not made to join any church other than the one we already attended.

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21hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

What about a Jewish temple or a mosque? Look, Youngstown Christian volunteered to take public school money to do public school work. I am pretty sure they cannot make the demands they are making.
From looking at responses above in favor of Youngstown Christian, I would say it's pretty obvious that none did much thinking about the effects of their decision to take public money.
Just eager to grab the cash.

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22tgs23(18 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Bottom line....A better education. It's really not about religion. Until these people that are complaining about the vouchers complain about their school systems and get them fixed...Take the vouchers and run!

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23Activist(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Hellsbells,
I stated you must attend a christian based church. Again, what is wrong with that. There are hundreds of them in our valley. You are just against the whole voucher thing and that is your opinion. I am not against it and in fact am very thankful for it.

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242blessed(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To all who commented, the Vindicator did this article on Youngstown Christian school, this school isn't the only school that accepts vouchers. Ursiline, Mooney,and other catholic perochial elementary and junior high schools. The fact that this school is a christian faith-based school,is what bothers people. Had this article been about one of the other schools you wouldn't have so many people against it. May God have mercy on us.

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25savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

yes, in order to be enrolled in Y.C.S you do need to regulary attend a church( ooo thats so bad right?!) and yes, we are a private school so we can make stipulations, and rules. However, we are in no way shape or form forcing anyone to enroll! it is a choice, therefore you are also choosing to abide by the rules.Just because you recieve a voucher ( which i do not) does not mean youre "stealing from the city" you still have to pay taxes.Let me ask all those so opposed to Religon at Y.C.S.. have you ever taken a visit to see what we are all about before passing your judgement? have you ever seen how polite and not only respectfull.. but also respected our children are? this shouldnt be an issue! the issue is what is best for our children, and for mine, being brought up in a Christian enviroment is the best thing for my daughters, they aren't just passing through life with academics, they are learning morals and values, they are learning how to be respectfull, and make good choices in life.I am proud to be a part of the Y.C.S FAMILY, and I know that my daughters will become better adults beacuse of it.

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26logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

OK, after reading the comments here, I think people are getting a little defensive over their religion and missing the point entirely.

I don't think anyone has a problem with YOU sending your child to a Christian school so long as YOU are paying for it. If that's what you feel is best, then go for it. The problem comes in when you use taxpayer's money to send your child to a school that mandates regularly attending a Christian church and teaches fundamental Christian principles. Separation of church and state? Don't think so.

Additionally, I can go online and look up any public school's testing results. I can check Youngstown, Poland, etc and see how they stack up against each other, as well as public schools across the state. Where are YCS's results? Why can't I find those? Shouldn't they be held to the same standards and public scrutiny as the schools they are taking funding from? Seems unfair that they get the money, but not the accountability.

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27Justin2204(13 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

to: tgs 23
Fix what in public school? Read the parent comments in the article. Not one had a complaint about their public school. Youngstown Christian recruited kids from my class. It is not like the parents were dissatisfied and looked for YCS. The school sent a letter to everyone in my class with good grades. (I don't know how they got a list.) They do this when you are in a grade that will be moving up to a new school -- like middle school or high school. We were moving up to middle school and some parents were nervous.

YCS asked kids to spend a day at their school and to take a test. They told my friend they would take him, but were not sure they would take his little brother because he was having a hard time with third grade reading. Then they said they would take him. The kids felt real complimented, and that is why they accepted the school's offer. Before this, they had no problem with our school, and never heard about going to YCS for free.

The story says that they took $400,000 from our schools to help their own private group that only lets some people in.

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28savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

HELLO, I AM A STUDENT OF YOUNGSTOWN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, AND I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT THE COMMENTS MADE ABOUT MY SCHOOL. FIRST OF ALL YES, WE LEARN ABOUT ALL RELIGONS OF THE WORLD INCLUDING DARWINISM, BUDDISIM, ETC... LAST YEAR IN OUR SCIENCE CLASS WE LEARNED ALL ABOUT DARWINISM AND HIS IDEAS ABOUT EVOLUTION AND WERE ALLOWED TO FORM OUR OWN OPINION AND VOICE THEM. IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT THE MAJORITY OF MY SCHOOL CHOOSES TO BELIEVE IN OUR GOD AND HIS CREATION. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE ARE FORCED TO BELIEVE WHAT OUR SCHOOL IS BASED ON. WE HAVE GREAT PRIDE IN OUR SCHOOL AND LOVE IT. IF WE WERE TO DO AS YOU SAY AND CLOSE DOWN OUR SCHOOL AND ALL OTHER PRIVATE SCHOOLS THAT ARE USEING VOUCHERS, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO YOUR BELOVED TAX MONEY? NEW SCHOOLS WOULD HAVE TO BE BUILT AND OUTFITTED AND NEW TEACHERS HIRED. WE WOULD HAVE TO SPEND MORE MONEY FOR NEW BOOKS AND SUCH.... HOW HIGH DO YOU THINK YOUR TAXES WOULD GO THEN? THANKS AND JESUS LOVES YOU!!

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29savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

SOOOO, THEN YOU WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH SOME ONE ON GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE GIVING MONEY TO THEIR CHURCH EVERY WEEK ALSO? BECAUSE AFTER ALL "IT'S YOUR TAX MONEY" WHAT ... IS THIS A DICTATORSHIP? WHAT "I PAY, I SAY?"

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30Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Youngstown Christian School existed for a decade or more without voucher money. And in fact, they were able to raise enough money to build a big new gym, and remodel. (I also notice that the teacher in the picture has an interactive white board, which run about $5,000. each.)

Are they telling the kids now that they need the voucher money or the school will close?

I am not too impressed with science classes that let children express their opinions about the life work of scientists. That's what we need. Do the children express their opinions on principles of physics as well?

For the record, 2Blessed, Catholics are Christians too. They should not have their church subsidized either. American education was meant to unit the citizens, not divide them into isolated groups, and subgroups.

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31savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I ALSO AM A STUDENT AT YCS. I THINK PEOPLE HAVE THE WRONG PROSPECTIVE OF THIS AND NEED TO ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MOMENT. OUR SCHOOL ISNT THIS "BRAIN-WASHING FACILITY" THAT YOU GUYS SEEM TO THINK THIS IS. THERE ARE KIDS AT MY SCHOOL WHO HAVE PROBLEMS AND GET THE HELP THEY NEED!!!!!! I FEEL WONDERFUL KNOWING THAT SPECIAL ED KIDS HAVE THE HELP THEY NEED!!!! IVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN FOR MY WHOLE LIFE AND AM PROUD THAT MY SCHOOL STANDS UP FOR THE BELIEFS THEY HAVE AND THE BELIEFS OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON!! I HAVE HAD THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE! IVE STUDIED DARWINISM, AND IVE WATCHED THINGS ON HIM, IVE MADE MY CHOICES AND THEY JUST ENCOURAGE IT LIKE ANY GOOD MENTOR WOULD!!!!!

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32savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

EXPRESSING THE KIDS OPINION IN SCIENCE CLASS WAS THE WHOLE PROBLEM HERE!!!!!!!! PEOPLE SAID WE DONT STUDY IT AND WE DO AND WERE ALLOWED TO EXPRESS OUR OPINION JUST LIKE ANY OTHER SCHOOL! I, AS A STUDENT AND CHILD, THINK A CHILDS OPINION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED JUST AS MUCH AS AN ADULT! I MAY BE AN 8TH GRADER, BUT I FIND THAT ALL OPINIONS SHOULD BE GIVEN A CHANCE! JUST BECAUSE WERE KIDS, DOESNT MEAN WE DONT THINK! I KNOW A SEVENTH GRADER WHO KNOWS MORE STUFF ABOUT ANYTHING THEN MOST ADULTS I KNOW!! OUR OPINIONS SHOULD BE HEARD IN NO MATTER WHAT SUBJECT!

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33TheHMSBeagle(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

savedbyhzgrace35,

Please stop posting. Your horrid grammar and spelling combined with your implication that GOD has some sort of reason for letting Columbine and other tragedies happen shows that, not only do you have very little classical education, but that your theological understanding is sorely lacking as well. Perhaps you are forgetting the tragic 2004 school shootings at the Amish School in Lancaster, PA, or the recent church shootings in New Jersey? These are disasters that have nothing to do with your misguided idea of god. In fact they have nothing to do with religion at all.

The separation of church and state is not an affront to God. It is a necessity in a free society. The founding fathers saw this and wrote it into the constitution for a reason. The dictation of religion, regardless if it is a certain form of a specific religion, Protestant over Catholicism, or one general religious belief over another, Christianity over Islam only serves to divide a people and impede true freedom. This also applies to the mandate of religion in general. Not everyone is a believer in the supernatural, and those who are not are no less moral then those who are.

Your judgment of those who wish to send their children to public schools goes against the very religion you claim to follow.

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34logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Education_Voter, you seem to be one of the few voices of reason on this post.
Again. It's not about one religion vs. another, mine is better than yours.
It's about school funding and taxpayer money. (Though, the fact that "Darwinism" is taught as a "religion of the world" and not a universally accepted scientific theory is beyond frightening.)
How has this school proven itself better than the city schools it is taking funding from?

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35savedbyhzgrace35(7 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

NEVER ONCE DID I SAY THAT PRIVATE SCHOOLS WERE BETTER THAN PUBLIC, i SIMPLY STATED THAT I CHOSE TO SEND MINE TO ONE AS OPPOSED TO THE OTHER.I WOULDNT AND WONT TEAR ONE DOWN TO BUILD THE OTHER UP. AND AS LONG AS THIS IS CONVERSATION IS GOING ON, I WILL CONTINUE TO POST... OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE THAT FREEDOM AWAY ALSO!? HAD YOU READ THROUGH, YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN THAT THOSE WERE PROUD Y.C.S. STUDENT VOICEING THEIR OPINIONS, WHICH IS ALSO THEIR RIGHT.

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36TheHMSBeagle(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry My response was to savedbyhzgrace35 first two posts, in which they describe themselves as a mother of two students, not two students. I kinda stopped reading after the all caps started.

Also you failed to account for your comment about Columbine which was obviously offensive.

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37logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Great, saved, but if you're going to continue to post, could you maybe turn off cap locks and address the actual issue at hand?

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38Jesus_Is_Lord(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I appreciate the dialogue here that discusses the "real issue" - taxpayer dollars. So think about this: My children go to YCS and I want my taxpayer dollars that contribute to public schools to go to the school that I have chosen for my children. Yes, I still have last say so on where my children go to school. Therefore, I should have say so on where my dollars go. Second, I have a large family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) who are also taxpayers and mostly Christian. They would like their taxpayer dollars to go to faith-based schools as well. If other people of faith were to feel the same way that I do, then there probably would be less of those taxpayer dollars going to public schools than there is now. No, I cannot prove this, but I am interesed in how that would play out in a study. See, my theory is that there are enough Christian taxpayers out there who would prefer that their money go to a place that allows some of their curriculum to come from the Bible. If this turns out to be true, then those who don't would realize that we are not using any of your money anyway. This would also allow enough money for those who cannot afford a school like YCS to be able to chose as well.

Bottom line, I'm interested in an UNBIASED study and don't want to assume any of what I said above. But, I surely don't want any of you to assume that all taxpayers feel the way you do either.

If there truly were not enough taxpayer dollars to fund faith-based education for my children, then I'm sure God would find a way to make it happen - if it truly were His will. See, my children do not get to go to YCS because you are paying for them to go. They are going because God allowed it. With or without you, God's will always prevails. I am not worried!

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39TheHMSBeagle(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

So you would like to have taxes fund a school that teaches faith-based education, which is where you want your children to receive their education. But a faith-based education is not UNBIASED. Where as a public school does not endorse nor deny any religion, any faith-based school does and therefore is inherently biased, YCS just happens to be biased towards something you are more inclined to accept. And there in lies the problem. Tax dollars can not be used to endorse one religion over another. It is when it is used to send children to get any faith-based education.

The separation of church and state is essential in a free society. The closer we come to blurring those lines the less free we become. Also the less we invest in our public schools, which serve the majority of our children, the worse our society will be.

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40jesusislord(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I also am a YCS parent of two children and have been for 5 years. I am single and pay for my children's education because I do not live in a voucher school district. This means I pay taxes to a public school district that my children don't even attend. YCS gets no funding from my school district. I chose to send my children to YCS not only for a quality education, but so the values I teach my children at home are nurtured and re-enforced at school. They have several friends that attend public school and I question the morals they are taught at home and school. The language and disrepect I see is unacceptable in my home. I'm sure most of our grandparents would be shocked if they saw how present day children behave around their peers. YCS maintains a high level of expectation for education and behavior. From an education standpoint, a learning disability was discovered when my son was in 3rd grade at YCS. The speech teacher who also tested children in public school informed me that my son who tested as 7-8 would have to test as low as 4 before receiving any type of attention in the public schools. He was struggling and it would only have gotten worse as he got older. Instead, early intervention at YCS with special tutoring has helped bring him up to the level of his peers. I don't believe he would have gotten this attention in public schools and would continue struggling and hating school. His grades aren't always the best, but he loves school and works hard now. There is also a standard of behavior that is expected and enforced. I know of children being bullied and picked on in public schools with no one being held accountable. One friend moved her daughter to a private school (not YCS) because the teasing and peer pressure from cliques became unbearable to her teenage daughter. All of this being said, I do not regret my decision to send my children to YCS. YCS is very family oriented and I consider many of the staff and parents as friends that I can trust and count on. All parents should have the choice to send their children to whatever school supports their beliefs. I shouldn't be expected to send my children to a school just because I live near it. Parents who receive vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice are blessed. In fact, I believe as a parent and a tax payer, I should be able to have my taxes go to the school I choose and I should not be forced to fund public education. I believe all parents should be able to take the money the state pays public schools and apply it to any school, whether private/public, Christian/Catholic/Secular/or any other religion or belief. When do we all get vouchers?

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41epicfail(217 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

It's really saddening to hear so many fellow Christians toss aside the separation of church and state just so they can save some money sending their kids to their favored religious schools. I've considered sending my children to YCS on my own dime, but I certainly won't after reading the uninformed comments on this thread. I had thought that maybe our local Christian schools were different but I guess not.

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42hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I wish the poster "jesusislord" would address my campaign (which I described in an above post) to have my public park (Mill Creek) give me a voucher for my membership to Tippecanoe Country Club. I have already been accepted there, but I can no longer pay the fee.

My son competes in Junior PGA gold tournaments around the midwest. It is clear that country club kids do much better in these tournaments than most kids from public courses. This could affect his whole future. Secondly, when we go to use the tennis courts at Mill Creek, there are players there who do not wear tennis clothes. Sometimes they don't even have correct tennis shoes!
I know that not everyone can get a voucher to a country club, but that is because they can not get accepted, so it is only for those of us who are better golfers, and have good manners.

My family and I never use public parks, so think of the money on grass cutting you are saving because we pay our taxes and don't use them.

In fact, I don't shop at the lower class stores along 224 like Southern Park Mall. Why am I constantly asked to contribute to improvements along this road?

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43Activist(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

hellsbells,
I will pray for you. You need it.

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44logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I think a few people here are very confused as to how our tax system works. It's not like a savings account. "Well, this is mine, I'm going to take it and spend it where I want." Think about it, what if you like the police or road department in the neighboring town better? Do you think you should get to say, Hey, send my money to them, and the can come plow my street when it snows?
What if I'm paying tax dollars and don't have any kids in the school system? Can't I take that money and just put it towards my car payment?
No. It doesn't work like that.

There is a place where you have a say in how your tax money gets spent. It's called a voting booth. The taxpayers should get to decide which schools the vouchers can be used at, or even if they should exist at all. Taxpayer money, taxpayers decide. Your money, you decide.

And Activist, when so-called "Christians" say that to someone who they disagree with, it's a way of putting them down while still looking holier than thou and hiding behind their religion. If you actually had concern for the person and felt that your prayers were beneficial, you could do that on your own. Announcing it is only you forcing your beliefs on someone else. And "You need it"? Hmm. I think there's a little something in the bible about not judging others, isn't there? Well, how would I know. I went to public school.

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45Activist(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Everyone needs prayer. It is not a judgement.

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46hellsbells(116 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Watch out, Activist. God is full of surprises. Some surprised people who thought they were in tight with God: Saul when he got pushed over for an unknown kid named David; people at a dinner who scoffed at a woman drying Jesus's feet; devoted Martha shushed in favor of her sister; and of course good numbers of characters in His parables including the older son whose brother was a favored prodigal; the workers who came late to harvest come to mind for a start. (I won't even throw His comments about Pharisees and Hypocrites back to you.)

Pray for my son. He is on the verge of a golf scholarship to college and these tournaments are how kids build credibility with golf coaches. Why are your wants for your child valid, but mine not?

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47anonymous25(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

My son goes to Youngstown Christian and absolutely loves it! However, I think the voucher system is unfair. My husband and I pay OUT OF POCKET, each month. I believe this is how it should be, if you choose to send your child to a private school. Just because we live in a district that isn't in "trouble", doesn't mean we don't have a hard time paying the tuition, each month. It's very frustrating to know that we sacrifice for our child to go there, and others are getting it for free!

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48gidadxs3(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I see everyone is talking about how the vouchers are taking money away from the schools, well what about open enrollment that takes money from the poor schools and gives it to the recruiting richer schools. I don't see anyone crying over those lost tax dollars. By the way "theHMSbeagle" the public schools are bias - they teach Darwinism as law, which it clearly is not and christian children have to learn it, talk about brain washing. Also the schools teach specifically for proficiency test just to make their schools look good. And to "ericlw" our country was founded on freedom of religion. They left England because they had to worship a certain way, and the separation of state and church that you all are talking about is not even written in the constitution of the US. These vouchers can be used at any private school and are available in several parts of Ohio not just the Youngstown area. Should a child have to stay in a school that has been in academic emergency for a number of years?

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49Justin2204(13 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

"Justin2204"s mom here. I wish I had kept the letter my son got from Youngstown Christian last year. I can't believe that the parents who posted here don't know that the first thing this school does after they ask a public school child to transfer is give him an achievement test. Then they tell you if his achievement is not on his grade level or above, they will not accept him.
Now think about this. If the school is "failing", shouldn't those children be below a normal level? They waited until my son had six years of schooling provided by his school, then tried to "cherry-pick" him from the class. How is this "rescuing" these "poor" kids from their "urban" school? No thanks. My son is doing well so far, and I'm sticking with the school that got him here.

From looking at the writing in posts from their school community, I think I made the right choice.
Tell me about your wonderful values after you learn the meaning of "fair" and "honest".

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50logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

gidadxs3,
The vouchers are given to kids who are in a school that has been in academic emergency for a number of years. They determine this by holding them to certain, specific standards. The schools are then given a report card, a rating, and that is made public. You can go online and find it and the Vindicator even publishes them.
What you cannot find, however, are YCS's results.
Youngstown Christian is not held to these same standards. Do they take the same tests? What were they rated by the state? (Or, ANY of the schools that receive vouchers for that matter.) They do not have to take the same tests b/c they are a private school.
It's a double standard. Here, you have to meet these criteria or else we'll take your funding and give it to these people over here who don't have to meet the criteria or even attempt it.
That's the reason that public schools spend time teaching to standardized tests.
Because if they don't, they'll lose funding to a school that doesn't even have to take them.
And that's not even factoring in that these schools get to recruit only the students that are doing well. The public schools do not have that luxury.

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51TheHMSBeagle(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

gidadxs3,

I believe what you are referring to, when you say Darwinism, is the theory of evolution, a scientific theory first presented by Charles Darwin and later expanded upon by many scientists. Evolution is a scientific theory, not a religion. Scientific theories are unifying principles based on tested hypotheses that explain a set of facts and laws about the natural world. They are not ideas thought of in the middle of the night. All of science is based on theories. Gravity is a theory but without it we would not be able to launch rockets or space shuttles or satellites. The Germ theory is another scientific theory, without it we might still believe diseases were caused by the gods. The tectonic theory helps us understand earthquakes and volcanoes. The cell theory further aids us in treating diseases. The atomic theory of matter allows that all matter is made up of atoms and has help us harness the power of the atom. The galactic theory of astronomy helps us understand the orbit of planets around stars. All of these are theories but they, a long with the theory of evolution, make living in the modern world possible. Now you may disagree with the concept that life forms evolve, however the teaching of this is no more biased then the teaching of gravity is.

Further more the use of tax payer money to allow children to attend a school that teaches that man is not a mammal, as this school does, is tantamount to using tax payer money to send a child to a school that denies the Holocaust ever happened. The evidence exists to prove that these two things are facts and yet some still deny it.

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52Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the effort, Beagle. Science terms often have a specific meaning different from the way people use them for conversational use. Two that come to mind are "era" and "normal".

In science, theory is not a synonym for hypothesis or opinion.

Also some people in the Christian community seem to see themselves as persecuted like the early Christians, or at least ignored.

They need to know that there are whole public school districts that do not get $400,000 in state funding. Lordstown is one of them. They get $0.

This voucher program, to the contrary, came about because Catholic and Christian friends had powerful political friends in state government.

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53gidadxs3(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

TheHMSBeagle,
First of all gravity is a law not a theory. Charles Darwin's theory has never been proven and even Darwin himself confessed, "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."(Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural). So if the school is going to teach Darwinism as a theory then they should also teach creation.
Have you ever been to YCS or any other private religious based school to say that they teach "man is not a mammal and that the Holocaust didn't happen?" The information seems a little hard to believe.
Again, we are getting away from the point. I believe we could argue for days about what is taught to our children, however it is the parents responsibility to take an active role in their education. I have a child in one of the charter schools because he could not get the help he needed any other way. I do not blame the teachers whose classes are over crowed and as stated before may be full of children with behavior issues, but because this happens - kids are falling through the cracks.
We may not have an answer to these problems anytime time soon, and while we are trying to figure them out, charter schools and private schools seem to be filling the gap.

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54TheHMSBeagle(5 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

First, I didn't say YCS teaches that the Holocaust never happened. I said they teach that man is not a mammal, which in fact they do. I have seen there 5th or 6th grade science books, in which it is stated that man shares the common traits as mammals but is not one.

Second, Gravity is a Scientific Theory, it incorporates Newton’s Laws as well as the Law of Inverse Square and others. You see a Scientific Theory is an observed, tested and testable explanation of facts and laws about the natural world.

And While Darwin could not see how the eye had evolved, Darwin was not the last word on evolution, he was the first. His theory has been expanded upon, tested and retested for the last 150 years. And yes there is an explanation for the evolution of the eye, though I will not pretended to fully understand it, but I know that it begins with light sensitive skin cells and evolves from there. Newton also had reservations about his theory of gravity, wondering how an object could act upon another through the vacuum of space from great distances and effect the other body's actions. And yet this was shown to be the case, and predicted the existence of Neptune.

Finally, Pulling money away from failing schools, which serve the great majority of kids, to give it to schools that do not even have to live up to the same standards is not a solution to the problem.

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55Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Gid, you say we don't have the answers yet, but it seems pretty simple to me. Your public school system has to slash programs again because of money diverted to EdChoice programs. This time it's more than $625,000.00 from Choffin's career education program. As usual, children who would benefit from real-world work preparation programs are given the short shrift in favor of college prep programs at Mooney, Ursuline, and Youngstown Christian. (That is pretty close to the sum diverted to the private schools.)

And the district will cut 20 teacher positions again. Whether that is through lay-off or retirement, cutting positions, not just employees, means that the large classes you deplore will be larger yet, as more children are placed in remaining teachers' classroom.

For private school parents, including those paying tuition, your school's policies caused hurt to others. You cannot just ignore that responsibility and go on your merry way.

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56epicfail(217 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

gidadxs3,

This is an old creationist quote cherry picked out of Darwin's text. Even a 2 minute google search with a headache poke holes in your unoriginal and thoroughly disproven statements. To be quite honest it's same tired old lines I hear from all the other young earth and intelligent design creationists.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Notable_...

http://www.aquaticape.org/darwin.html

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57Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

How did the church ever resolve their gripes against the work of Copernicus and Galileo? Supposedly the theory that the planets revolve around the sun went against scripture as well, and was insulting to the dignity of man.
One never hears any dispute of this anymore, right?
Sometimes I imagine the human writers of scripture (Maybe Moses or one of his close associates) railing at us from heaven: "Why do I have to do everything? These kids today just refer to my interpretation. Do your own thinking and writing. I'm only human. Lazy youngsters. Walked five miles to school? I walked forty years to get home! Oy!"

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58mjnovaksr(95 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As a fairly successful (my own opinion of course) product of the Youngstown Public School system of the 40's and 50's I can vouch for the good quality education I received which taught me to judge the book not by the cover but by its message. No one can deny that something is wrong with our society and our schools or that these schools and our society must do a better job of both providing better education and convincing our children of the need for it. Parents who want their children to have the best education they can get should be supported even if they choose to use a voucher to spend their tax dollars at a private school which might be a parochial school. These schools do not require participation in their religion as a pre-requisite to attendance (possible exception being Islamic schools). If the primary goal is the successful education of the student and vouchers further that goal then how can anyone be against them?

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59Education_Voter(851 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Again, read the article. The administrator at this school said attendance at their church is required. Catholic schools have promised their parishioners that students will be required to attend religious classes and services during the day.
And yet, I would still tend to agree with you, except for the fact that the removal of funds from the public schools for the benefit of private schools is severely hindering the mission of the public schools.

Believe in traditional values? Public school with its emphasis on citizenship, unity, and democracy is itself a traditional value.
And while you may believe there is something wrong with our society, I would dispute that there was ever anything wrong with our schools.

There are now many questions being asked about "A Nation at Risk", the 1980s report that started the latest "reform" movement. That report recommended that "effective" businessmen help the "struggling" schools.

In the interim, the businessmen have mostly helped themselves to the school's monetary accounts. That includes a mushrooming testing industry, leading to the test prep industry, private management firms that can take over school systems, national for-profit charter schools, textbooks targeted just to Christian schools ....

And our students have continued to prove that Americans are the most innovative producers in the world. Students around the world compete for the limited places available in American colleges.

We do teach critical thinking, but I'm not how effective we have been, when so many Americans can be persuaded to believe campaigns by special interests over what they can see for themselves.

If this campaign continues, there will be no public schools. Then the nostalgia will begin. Instead we could save the schools now, while there is still time.

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60payingmyway(1 comment)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

My children went to YCS for several years, and my husband and I paid, we did not receive any help, and now they go to school in a nearby surburb. We made the choice for our children to go to YCS, and we were able to afford that decision, looking at this I am glad that my children no longer attend, I would not be happy if I still paid tuition out of our hard earned paychecks, and children were going there with vouchers, so I would also be paying for them to go, I don't like the voucher program and I do not think it is fair to people who work and make the choice to put their children in private school based on that fact the can afford it. I think if you choose to send your children to private school you should pay for it our of your salary not mine,

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61taxpayer2(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

As one of a few Youngstown taxpayers in the higher income bracket, it irks me that we have to continually "pay" for educating children who do not care to attend our public schools. YCS and charter schools are your choice-so pay for it or maybe we should increase your fair share of taxes. If you want your children to attend other schools outside of Youngstown (open enrollment) then move to North Jackson,McDonald,Leetonia, etc. Your children can learn just as much in the public schools as any other-just apply yourself and dig into your pockets. You people make me sick of trying to justify your pathetic exuses.

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62jesusislord(2 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

To Education_Voter,

Just to clarify, in the article where the administrator says that the student's family must be active in its church, it refers to the family's church. There are over 80 churches represented in YCS including families that have come from Catholic and other backgrounds. There is not one specific church the family's must attend, they just have to attend a church of their choice.

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63logical1(6 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

No one said they had to attend a particular church, but they do have to regularly attend services at a specific type of church - Christian.
And the viewpoint taught at the school is a very specific, very fundamentalist, bible-as-fact (not interpretation) form of Christianity that is not all encompassing at all.

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