For the record, I'm in favor of referendum 1. I won't pretend to know all the facts, as do all the advertisements you see and hear (which, really...at least one side of the argument has to be lying about money saved or lost, since they say the exact opposite of each other), and I don't think I need to . I do know a few basic principles that are guiding my decision, and present them to you for your consideration.
1. "public schools" are not public. They are Government schools, and as far as money is concerned, Government schools act the same as any other private entity. For me, the whole argument about "public" schools losing badly needed money is moot because I consider them in this manner. If a system of private schools was run as poorly as the current government ones are run, who would support bailing them out? That's why you can't think of them as "public" schools anymore, the public has little to no control.
2. Opponents of the referendum argue that it doesn't set standards for the private schools who will be "benefitting" from the influx of new students. I argue that the government shouldn't do that anyway. If I as a parent feel that a private school that I send my kids to is sub-par, I have full control in being able to withdraw my child from that school and enter another. Who's got the power? The parents. Who's got the power in government school? To be honest, I don't know, but I do know that the government has had to come out with No-Child-Left-Behind to try and fix their crappy system, and even that is a sucky piece of legislation.
3. Legislation, what a great segue. There is not one single thing the government can do that the private sector cannot do better. Necessity is the mother of invention, not legislation. Legislation is the evil step-mother that killed Cinderella's dad and made her sign up for worthless healthcare so she could wait in line 3 years to see her dentist, or oncologist, or what-have-you.
Okay, so I need to refine my earlier comment. I understand that someone needs to be in control, but I think people forget that WE are that someone. We are the government of the people, by the people, and for the people - meaning that government shouldn't control us, we should control it. We're the ones in charge, or that should be in charge, but that's not happening with "public" schools. How many parents know about the high-priced luncheons that the school administrators have for themselves, or the exotic vacations they send themselves on, all on public money? You want money for public schools, then you worry about fixing public schools, but I'm not bailing out a sinking ship when people keep making the hole bigger.