What's Wrong with Texas School VouchersSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


What's Wrong with Texas School Vouchers

15 February 2007 at 3:06:50 PM

Great editorial from the Austin American Statesman.

As it now stands, families who send their children to private schools are paying tuition in addition to tax dollars that support public schools. But here's the flaw in the thinking: all citizens must support public education, either through property taxes or through higher rents imposed by property owners. People who don't have children in the system still pay for public education through their tax dollars. In a free society, it is for the good of our entire community that we provide a viable public school system that accepts and educates every child.

What's more interesting is the discrepancy between what the state pays per student and what the private schools charge in tuition. Perhaps if public schools spent the same dollar amount per student as private schools, they too could afford smaller class sizes. Whenever I talk to parents who choose private school over public, the first reason they give is smaller class sizes. Rather than siphoning tax money to private schools, why don't we incorporate smaller class sizes into our public schools?

Private school teachers work for less money and fewer benefits than public school teachers, but they are willing to make this sacrifice for several reasons. ..

Private schools have the freedom to expel disruptive students or to reject their admissions applications.

Most important, private schools don't feel the pressure of the No Child Left Behind law. They don't have to "teach to the test" for fear of losing their jobs. They can focus on teaching critical thinking skills rather than test-taking ones. And teachers in private schools can go to the principal and the school board with grievances or to suggest changes. We can still do that in public schools, but the principals' and the school boards' and the superintendents' hands often are tied by legislation proposed by politicians who don't send their children to public schools in the first place.

If public schools had the same freedoms as private schools, there would be no cry for vouchers. Public schools could compete more effectively with private ones and all of our children would benefit.

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