I am a homeowner. As a homeowner, in 2014, I paid a little over $3,000 in school taxes. And most importantly, school-aged children no longer reside in my house. Meaning that my wife and I willingly pay taxes for public schools to educate the school-aged children in our community. We do so because we believe in the public trust that is the local school district; we are represented by duly elected school board members to oversee that trust; and most importantly, the governance of our local school district is transparent.
There are parents in our community that are also school tax paying homeowners that elect to not send their children to the local public school. This is their choice, and there is no negative consequence for exercising it. They simply pay tuition to a private provider to educate their children. If at anytime they change their mind, the local public school will accept their children.
From a taxpayer perspective, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE between the private schooling parent and myself. We both pay into a public trust that neither of us uses.
Except, there are now people who advocate the breaking of this public trust. They argue that if a parent chooses to send their child to a non-public school, they should be allowed to remove money from the public trust and spend it to subsidize their choice. If my private schooling neighbor were allowed to take his tax dollars and use them as he chooses, this would mean that he IS NOW DIFFERENT than me. Effectively, his tax bill has been reduced.
That is what subsidy, aka – welfare, does. It is interesting that most voucher proponents are also welfare opponents. Maybe, welfare is only bad if it doesn’t go to you?
Now if my neighbor is getting his welfare (voucher), I obviously want mine. Which would mean that the only people who would be paying for the public schools would be homeowner parents with children enrolled in the public schools. Which sounds a lot like tuition. Which would violate the state constitutional requirement to provide a free and adequate public education. Which would also be breaking an established public trust that our forefathers fought and died for. Making vouchers anti-American, anti-Texan, and anti-democratic (the form of government, not the party) no matter how people try to spin it.
Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…
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