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Opinion: Declare Independence from Public Education


Submitted by Frustrated Taxpayer

Today, our country celebrates the day our nation declared independence from England and established a new nation, The United States of America. This was a result of more and more colonists becoming convinced that Parliament intended to take away their freedom along with increasing oppression and corruption happening all around the world.

Last week, Dr. Betts separation from the Chambersburg Area School District with over $300,000 provided in his separation package made me sick. The median household income in Chambersburg is $46,924. His separation cost taxpayers over six times what the average household in Chambersburg earns yearly. Imagine that you could leave your job tomorrow and collect that large of a payday.

To be fair, I do not know the reason for the separation. Perhaps the school board had a good reason, but the secrecy and lack of information provided to the taxpayers who elect the board is astonishing. We will never know.

I just paid a bit over $3,000 in school taxes and do not have any children who attend the school district. It’s upsetting to know that my tax bill and 99 other homeowners with similar taxes spent money that did not benefit the children. I do not have a problem with paying taxes, but my issue is paying taxes for a service I am not using to a “company” that mismanages the funds it receives.

This is just one instance where public education has failed us. Homeowners are forced to pay for a service whether they use it or not. Families with ideological differences from the public schools are forced to pay taxes for children to be taught material they may not agree with.

To be clear before I am criticized by teachers for my frustration with public education, you deserve to be paid more. You deserve to have smaller class sizes and you deserve to be treated fairly with respect. Dr. Betts separation could have covered six new teachers or raises for those teachers who are underpaid or don’t have the supplies they need.

Our schools should be run as a business, judged based on the product they deliver. If the public schools are failing our students, then we should have the right to choose another school to give our tax dollars to. School choice shouldn’t be a political issue. Free market capitalism allows the best companies with the best service to be successful. Government intervention in public education forces us to pay for a service regardless of if it is working for our children and taxpayers.

It’s time we declared independence from the public education system and put it in a position to compete for our tax dollars. Future generations will thank you.


Patricia M Campbell 1932-2024

Pat graduated from Fannett Township High School in 1950 and received her BA in Education from, known then as, Shippensburg State Teachers College. .

James Patrick McNally III 1947-2024

James was known for his dedication and excellence in his professional career, where he made lasting contributions and built strong relationships with his colleagues.

Brenda Jackson Liu 1945-2024

Upon retirement, Brenda worked as a part-time nurse at the Migrant Health in Gettysburg. During this time she traveled to migrant camps all over Pennsylvania.

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