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Essay about Just Say No to Vouchers and School Choice

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Private School Vouchers: Just Say No

 

The basic idea behind vouchers is for the government to use taxpayer money to encourage the transfer of a student from a public school to a private one with the expectation that his performance will improve.  That any government official would actually support a program that essentially encourages parents to remove their children from public schools shows that they have no commitment to public education.  Consider these arguments:

 

Improved Scores

      The expectation that a bad student in a public school will turn into a good student in a private school is not only absurd, it is yet another slap in the face of public school teachers.  The presumption is that private school teachers are more effective than public school teachers.  The expectation of improved scores is completely unrealistic.  It's not that simple.

 

Competition

      The argument that public schools will benefit from the competition that vouchers will encourage is absurd.  Public schools accept all students regardless of their academic ability, handicap or family background, while private schools generally do not admit students who they expect will bring their average scores down or who require special accommodations.  Competition, even on this uneven playing field, implies winners and losers.  When it comes to education, we would hate to see any child on the losing side.

 

Parental Choice

      The idea that vouchers give parents a choice of schools for their children is simply incorrect.  The only people who have any real choice in the matter are the private...


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...amilies are unable to afford the difference between the voucher and the cost of tuition.  Also, few private schools are located in the economically depressed areas where the poor are likely to reside.  More importantly, however, few schools are likely to admit children from disadvantaged backgrounds.  In the end, the vast majority of the people benefiting from vouchers are the ones who are already financially able and attending.  The fact is that we already have an education program for poor families:  it's called the public education system.  The tuition is free and everyone is admitted.

 

      The bottom line is that vouchers have nothing to do with education.  Vouchers are about control.  Vouchers are about taxing the public to benefit religion at the expense of our public education system.


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