Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, hasn't ever been good at math. One can see that in how he's run (or run aground) his company - which has yet to make a profit. (Can he even add or subtract??)
(Byrne also can't hold his temper and is always offering to "fight" people. As he did at Fechheimer Bros when he offered to settle a union dispute with fisticuffs, Gary Weiss noted here yesterday that Byrne got into a tussle with Utah legislators, too. Weiss also notes that Byrne has labeled 60% of Utahns as "bigots." Hardly a temperate comment.)
But, I digress. Byrne can't do math. That view is reinforced by Byrne's position in a "business leaders" (aka "business bullies") group that wants CEOs to intimidate their employees into supporting the Utah voucher measure. None of them can do the math - which also makes me a little wary of their role as company heads.
If Byrne and the others COULD do math, they might know that it would take over 20% of students in public schools to switch to private schools to make the Utah voucher measure come close to "breaking even." And, folks, that isn't going to happen. There aren't enough spaces in Utah private schools to hold even that many students. Plus, historically, not that many students are going to "switch" and leave Utah's public schools.
But, Byrne just joins a growing list of pro-voucher folks who can't do math.
See Paul Rolly's articles here and here where Sen. Bramble not only bumbled the so-called fiscal analysis of vouchers by presuming that ALL private school students would end up in public schools, his subsequent analysis of public school enrollment was off, too. Wildly off. In both cases.
The Parents for Choice in Education pro-voucher group also can't do math. They keep claiming that tuition would be affordable for average Utah families with a voucher and they cite erroneous tuition data.
But, as reported here in this morning's Deseret News, even with a voucher most families (and particularly the low income families that all the millionaires seem to want to "help") cannot afford to send their children to private school. Period. Even the highest level voucher of $3,000 would barely cover half the cost of tuition. And, then when you add in uniforms, books, school activities, transportation to and from school, then vouchers seem even more paltry.
Since Byrne and all the other the people supporting school vouchers can't seem to do basic math you've got to ask: What they are trying to put over on the people of Utah?