School Vouchers Debate
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School choice gives people the option of selecting the school their child will attend. Money that is currently spent on a child's public education would be given to his/her parents in the form of a voucher which could be used at the school of their choice.
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves... is sinful and tyrannical." Thomas Jefferson
In Cleveland's Trial Voucher Program, minorities from single parent households who used their vouchers at Catholic schools, had higher test scores and graduation rates than white children in the public school system.
Private schools are allowed to discriminate on a variety of grounds. These institutions regularly reject applicants because of low achievement, and discipline problems. When you screen your students its easy to be successful. The voucher system will hurt public schools, they don't have the luxury of rejecting students.
In the following cities, as of 1998, the percentage of public school teachers who send their children to private school are:
Los Angeles - 18.9%
New York - 21.4%
Boston - 24.4%
Miami - 35.4%
Nobody is against people using their own money for private schools. The problem is when you take public money from public schools and give it to private schools. This can only hurt the public schools it would be better to try and improve the public system, find solutions that will be available to every American schoolchild. It wasn't that long ago that people used the postal system as an example of how big government couldn't work. It's now been running in the black for about a decade.
Some private schools promote agendas antithetical to the American ideal. Under a system of vouchers, it may be difficult to prevent schools run by extremist groups like the Nation of Islam or the Ku Klux Klan from receiving public funds to subsidize their racist and anti-Semitic agendas.
A $2,500 voucher supplement may make the difference for some families, but with some schools charging over $10,000 per year, the voucher programs offer nothing of value to families who cannot come up with the rest of the money to cover tuition costs.
School voucher programs undermine two great American traditions: universal public education and the separation of church and state. Do private schools really want big government telling them what they can or can't do?
Vouchers usually end up
subsidizing private/religious school education, not "saving"
kids from failing public schools. In Milwaukee, 4,550 of the 6,000
students receiving vouchers have NEVER been in enrolled in a public