Friday, December 7, 2007

Vouchers for Private Schools?

The on-going argument for vouchers and/or tax credits for parents who opt to send their children to private school has been an ongoing debate for several years now. It really starts to boil around election time. Guess what? It's election time again and the same old rhetoric surfaces yet again. It amazes me that so many people cabbage on to the concept of paying for private education for their children and thinking they should no longer pay for public education because they're not using it. In fact, they continue to "use" public education even after their children enroll in private school. We don't, as a society, pay for public school so that our children can go to school. We pay for public school so that everyone's children can go to school. Should we get a tax credit because our house didn't catch fire this year? The fire department never put out a fire at my house. So, why should I have to pay for it?

Additionally, the biggest supporters of a voucher system usually seem to be the most vocal opposition to "tax and spend" policies. Vouchers and tax credits won't make public schools any cheaper to run. Where will we get the money for these tax credits and vouchers? The obvious answer is that government spending on education would increase and in turn taxes would increase to fill the void.

Finally, let's not delude ourselves. Vouchers and tax credits won't equal the playing field. Low income families still won't be able to afford quality private education. The tax credits and vouchers only increase the divide between the "Haves" and the "Have nots". The wealthy, (or even middle class) who can already afford private education, get help paying for private schools at the expense of those who cannot afford private school.

Sorry for the rant, but I've never heard an argument for vouchers that didn't seem rooted (at some level) in greed. The greater motivation should Social responsibility and doing what is right.

This rant brought to you by edspresso.com who posted EDITORIAL: Charter school moratorium.

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