I was recently challenged, “What if all of your critiques about school vouchers were positively addressed and corrected? Would you then be able to support their implementation?”
A valid question. Essentially, in my mind, is there room for compromise and peaceful co-existence between school vouchers and public education? The answer is unequivocally, “No.”
This is not a case of pig headiness. This is a case of moral principal. School vouchers are unabashedly anti-democratic (not party, ideals). School vouchers represent the use of public money to support private “ISM’s.” Take your pick: Elitism; Racism; Religiousism (my word, any denomination); Sexism; Escapism; etc.
Not all of these ISM’s are bad and not all of them are detrimental to society. In fact, there are ISM’s that are extremely beneficial to society. But the essence of ISM is to separate, categorize, elevate and/or marginalize those who belong to the ISM and those who do not. We cannot forget that just a generation ago we litigated separate, but equal. Because separate, but equal… is not.
As such, the school of the ISM must remain private. Those who adhere to the ISM can choose to pay to have their children indoctrinated and educated in the ISM. That is their right. But the public is under no obligation to fund that choice. And to compel the public to do so, has the very real consequence of having the public fund activities detrimental to the public good.
Does that mean that there are those who desire to join the ISM, but are unable to do so due to a lack of financial means? Yes. Does that mean that the public should concern itself with this fact? Absolutely not.
Our ideals and institutions of public education are the foundation of our democratic society. As such, they should be cherished, supported and well-funded. Any scheme that does otherwise is frankly, Anti-American.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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