You share an interesting perspective. I have always been for vouchers, but your
examples show how government can use this system to gain more control. Perhaps a
better system would be property and income tax deductions for private school
tuition. I don't believe parents who pay for their children to go to a private
school should also be paying for everyone else's kids to go to public school.
Wait - so you mean if you accept government money, you have to follow government
I would hope that we would always have a truly independent school to choose,
even if it meant having to pay for that choice. It appears that government
financing would ruin that choice.
Be careful what you ask for...
@LBU;Are you also against those of us who have no children paying
for the education of the children of others through property taxes?If not, your argument is hypocritical.Personally, I don't mind
paying for PUBLIC Education. I believe that we are all better off when children
receive an education.I am totally AGAINST using my tax money to
finance private, FOR PROFIT schools (talk about Welfare - Corporate Welfare!).
@ LBU: Do you believe people who have no kids should be paying for everybody
else's kids to go to school?
@spring streetThere is no such thing as government money. The
government does not make money, all they can do is tax their people. A more
correct term to use is tax-payer money. You mean that the governments of the
United States, it's states, and municipalities are governments of the people,
for the people, and by the people? Don't forget, we live in the United States
of America, not the Soviet Union, we have a say.
Interesting argument, and one I completely understand as someone who's worked in
government and seen first-hand how accepting federal grants can sometimes be a
deal with the devil.Vouchers are, clearly in my opinion, the
solution to improving our children's education. And RanchHand's argument on
here that it's somehow wrong to allow private providers in publicly funded
education is easily dismissed - obviously he hasn't heard of publicly funded and
privately provided foster care, professional training, construction of
government buildings or even soldiers flying home on private (gasp!) airlines.
We pay private companies to provide publicly FUNDED services all...the...time.
But Mr. Cox's concern is a valid one. However, I think the solution
is not to just abandon vouchers, but to solve the root problem - absurd
government mandates. We elect lawmakers to ensure that such things don't
happen.Another solution that doesn't kill the entire idea of
vouchers is to make sure that the government is NEVER pay any private school
directly, and that the money passes through the hands of parents first, with
only basic requirements that the money be used only for certified schools. That
way, no BigBrother PC rules can be targeted to specific schools.
@ Voice of ReasonIf "the money be used only for certified
schools" Big Brother PC rules can and will follow regardless of whether it
"passes" through parents.
Hey, we've already told you folks NO on vouchers. Why must we keep
bringing this up?The pro-voucher crowd won't let this go until
they've stuffed their agenda down our throats.
Chuck - Government could make "Big Brother PC rules" apply to private
schools whether they're taking public money or not. The way to fight this is
by voting in like-minded lawmakers who will fight it - this is how you fight any
government injustice. The worst thing to do is to surrender & run away from
the best solution out of fear.Maverick - I make no apologies for
fighting for wise public policy -and I certainly won't give up just because
society's not ready for it yet.The left should understand this well. If
we were forced to give up at the first ballot box defeat, gay activists would
have given up a looooooong time ago.
Thank you Mr. Cox for a very enlightening article. However, the use or non-use
of vouchers does not appear to me to be necessary for government to control
education. After all, to operate the private schools must receive a license.
The requirements for which are made by government and they can place almost any
qualification the public will accept as a condition to receive the license. So,
the barrier to government control of private education and an assualt on the
freedom of people to train their own children is a public supportive of such
liberty. Hopefully, somehow even with the constant erosion of support for such
concepts from elites through their influence on institutions of government and
education, cherishing liberty by our citizens will continue.
@RanchhandIt's obvious you don't have any children. You seem to
cringe at the idea that parents would be allowed to use their money (i.e. tax
breaks) to make choices (gasp!!) concerning their children's education. Since
you have no problem paying taxes for other people's children to go to PUBLIC
school, then you should have no problem with parents using their money (yes,
even in the form of tax breaks) to pay for their children's PRIVATE education.
It seems to me that YOU are the one who is hypocritical. If the money allotted
for education goes through government hands for public education, or through
private hands for private education, it really shouldn't make a difference.
Unless of course you are anti-choice. Personally, I trust parents to make the
right choice before I trust a Government Bureaucrat.
@LBU;Parents can choose to send their children to private schools
should they desire to do so.They choose when they do so to PAY out
of pocket for the CHOICE.As a society, we've made a contract to
educate ALL children. ALL citizens contribute to that contract - i.e., PUBLIC
Education. Parents sending their children to Private schools don't
automagically get an exception to that social contract to educate ALL Children
just because they CHOOSE to send their children to Private school. They're
still obligated to contribute to the education of ALL children - including those
not theirs.Hypocritical this is not. @VoR;"easily dismissing" the argument in no way addresses it. ;}
Some of you have missed the point of Mr. Cox's editorial. He is stating the
obvious. If government money goes to a private school, then the private school
will have to abide by federal laws. The article mentions Sweden's law making
schools "all inclusive." What that means is that a huge financial
burden will be placed on private schools to provide services for students with
disabilities. An earlier poster said it correctly...be careful what you wish
We already have "choice" in education. We can send our kids anywhere
we want, or nowhere at all and educate them at home. What's the big deal?
@RanchYou are right, we parents do have that choice to pay out of
pocket for our children's education, but why should we have to pay double? The
root of this argument is not whether parents should get to use their money
allocated by the local government for public or private education, but the fact
that you do not trust parents to make decisions regarding their children's
education. I understand that if the government gives incentives for private
education and school choice, your liberal social engineering experiment won't
affect the entire population. Oh, the horror, we might have some free thinkers
in the future!
This is a really interesting editorial. One which seems to make a strong case
against vouchers but FOR tax credits.Of note is that not only does
it appear there will be tax credit and/or voucher bills run in the legislature
this year, but there will also be a Head Tax bill run. The argument behind the
head tax is that since all state income tax goes to education, ppl with more
than just a couple of kids aren't paying their fair share to pay for their
education, so they will lose their child tax deductions, in effect raising taxes
on families.My proposal would be that if these legislators believe
I'm not paying my fair share, then refund me my income tax and let me leave the
system. Since my kids & my money are a burden on the system, public ed will
be better off w/o them. Sounds like a win win to me.
Re: "The pro-voucher crowd won't let this go until they've stuffed their
agenda down our throats."Kinda like the pro-gay marriage crowd
won't let their issue go until they've stuffed their agenda down our throats,
huh?Liberals don't object in the slightest in using unfair,
dishonest, draconian tactics to persuade people that disagreed with their agenda
in the past.But they're happy to prohibit conservatives the same
option. To the extent, even, of "suspend[ing], perhaps, elections for
Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them,
whatever decisions they make, just let them help this country recover."Only Taliban and Mafia-like organizations advocate making persuasion and
changing one's mind offenses.Well, and liberals. At least if it
doesn't favor them.
@LBUThe Utah State Constitution guarantees every child a free public
education. The only way this can happen is if all people contribute. Many
people contribue that either never had kids, or their kids have now become
adults. If for whatever reason you feel a free public education is
not right for your child, you are not obligated to send them. You are however,
constitutionally obligated to continue to help pay for others to have that right
to a free public education. If you disagree with this on moral and principle, I
suggest you start a campain to ammend the State Constitution to remove this
I'm in favor of universal education but I'm not in favor of the government
providing it. If parents took on the responsibility of education of their
children the same way they are supposed to take on the responsibility of
feeding, clothing, and housing their children, the parents would be more
engaged, the children would be more engaged, discipline would improve, values
would be allowed to be taught, and the country would be better off. Tax funding
for education could be as rare as tax funding for food stamps, and about as
sparsely regulated. That's my opinion.
Sweden's education system reminds me a Pink Floyd song. I had always thought
that the cookie cutter mentality that we want everyone to think alike, i.e.
standardized thinkers would be coming from blue suit corporate types trying to
get everyone to be docile assembly line workers for big Republican businesses.
And it isn't."All in all it is another brick in the wall. Hey
teacher [education minister] leave those kids alone!"
jon w: ". If parents took on the responsibility of education of their
children the same way they are supposed to take on the responsibility of
feeding, clothing, and housing their children, the parents would be more
engaged, the children would be more engaged, discipline would improve, values
would be allowed to be taught, and the country would be better off."-------------Tell that to the single mother who is working
two jobs just to feed and clothe her children. All this would do is
divide education into those who have money getting the best education (like they
have the best clothes, houses, cars, etc.) and the rest trying to find ways to
educate their own.Totally incomprehensible that you would think of
doing this to the future of our country. Yes, the children we educate ARE our
Too much government. Let the parents decide where to send their child. If the
parents are unhappy with the school the child will go elsewhere. I do not
approve of religious schools receiving help. I like vouchers because for one
thing they can save tax payer money and in these times that is big.
Re: "If . . . you feel a free public education is not right for your child,
you are not obligated to send them. You are however, constitutionally obligated
to . . . pay for others. . . .By what provision of the
constitution?The actual constitutional provision in question reads
-- "The public education system shall include all public elementary and
secondary schools and such other schools and programs as the Legislature may
designate."Paying for my child's education, in whatever venue
the legislature may designate, IS financing public education.My kids
and grandkids are members of the public, every bit as much as yours, and nothing
in the constitution requires me to pay twice.It's interesting that
NEA/UEA has now taken to suggesting that vouchers would be socialistic. I guess
they know what scares Utahns, even if their suggestion is disingenuous
demagoguery.Vouchers would be better than what we have now, but I
agree that a tax credit would be even better, as it would permit a system much
less subject to control and interference by officious, liberal, educational
"but why should we have to pay double"Isn't paying twice
and getting one education the equivalent ofPaying once and getting no
education?Isn't that what those without children are asked to do?
@procuradorfiscal"It's interesting that NEA/UEA has now taken
to suggesting that vouchers would be socialistic. I guess they know what scares
Utahns, even if their suggestion is disingenuous demagoguery."Vouchers are socialistic. Did you not read the article? The idea of vouchers
is you take public money and you inject it into private institutions. This is
the oldest trick in the book to get private institutions under big governments
arm. That's what happened with pell grants and subsidized loans at private
univerisities.Whenever government money touches something it will
come under regulation. Sweden is a great example of that!
LBU says:@RanchYou are right, we parents do have that
choice to pay out of pocket for our children's education, but why should we have
to pay double? ---You are paying to help educate ALL
American Children, LBU. Not just your own. When you take your money from the
Public system to educate your own, you are automatically taking money from the
Education System as a whole.You are not required to pay double -
send you kids to public school and you won't. You CHOOSE to pay extra when you
CHOOSE to send your children to schools other than those the government funds.
You should still be required to pay for the overall education system, which is
what public school is about."why should we have to pay
double?" I don't have children at all. Should I not have to
pay anything as a result? Your argument would indicate that to be the case. I
disagree. I pay into the system so that it benefits Society as a whole. You
want an Individual benefit by taking your money out of the system to send your
kids to private schools.
@procuradorfiscalArticle X section 1"The Legislature shall
provide for the establishment and maintenance of the state's education systems
including: (a) a public education system, which shall be open to all children of
the state; and (b) a higher education system. Both systems shall be free from
sectarian control. "Article X section 2 "The public
education system shall include all public elementary and secondary schools and
such other schools and programs as the Legislature may designate. The higher
education system shall include all public universities and colleges and such
other institutions and programs as the Legislature may designate. Public
elementary and secondary schools shall be FREE, except the Legislature may
authorize the imposition of fees in the secondary schools" Emphasis added
Wow, some of these comments come off sounding like, "You'll take your
mediocre education, and you'll like it!"
Re: "Public elementary and secondary schools shall be FREE, . . . .Emphasis
added"Not sure exactly what the emphasis proves, but things
like home schools or private schools could certainly be among the "other
schools and programs as the Legislature may designate." And they would be,
at least to the student, FREE [Emphasis added -- invoking Adam Sandler's
"Bedtime Stories" performance] if vouchers paid a student's cost of
matriculation.So your point is . . . what?
Repubs, hate to say this, but this is nothing more and nothing less than another
"entitlement" program.This puts us on a slippery slope.
What's to say that after we give out more handouts for people to take their kids
to "private schools" that they'll be satisfied with this? Will they
later demand more handouts for private police? Private fire departments? When
will this stop?Also, how much is enough for "choice?"
$1000? $2000? One year, it might be x amount, the next, they'll demand more. And we all know that once you start an entitlement program, it'll just
keep getting more and more expensive!So I'm curious, why are repubs
so aroused and pro-voucher? It's just another entitlement program that will
become more and more powerful, more and more socialized, more and more
expensive, and ultimately, will be unsustainable. Here's the choice,
want private school? PAY FOR IT YOURSELF. Stop buying the brand new phones and
video game systems, and save for your OWN education. Stop asking the
government to pay for the lifestyle that YOU choose. We already have
choice. We don't need another entitlement program.
@MaverickYou do realize that this "choice" will help
people take their children elsewhere, reducing the current strain on the system,
right? And better yet, by effectively subsidizing part of their education, money
STAYS in the public system. I don't think you'd be opposed to: smaller class
sizes, better pay for teachers, technology improvements, school improvements,
supplies that don't come out of your own pocket and the list goes on and on. Tax credits put choices back in the hands of the people who will pay to
make them. You seem to miss the fact that we really don't have any choice with
the current set-up. My kid lives in X neighborhood = go to X school. It doesn't
matter that there is a school that is closer, has higher quality teachers,
offers more classes/opportunities my child needs, or has a better student
environment. Nope, i'm told to take my choice and shove it. And continue to
pay.We've learned our lesson about entitlement spending. Utah is an
excellent example of fiscal responsibility, and if you don't like the decisions,
take it to the ballot box. However many times it comes up.
Re: "We already have choice."No. We don't.The
"choice" liberals so cavalierly inflict on us amounts to, "choose
unaccountable, unaffordable, untoward, unproductive, unbelieving, unpatriotic,
unabashed socialist schools -- or nothing."We all already pay
for liberal schools. Most of us can't afford to pay for education twice -- once
to educate liberals' kids, then again to educate our own.Is
education an entitlement program? Sure it is. It's one that's written into the
constitution, one for which we all pay taxes. But a voucher program is not,
somehow, more of an entitlement program than liberal schooling.Rather, it's a recognition that many parents are constrained by decency,
common sense, parental affection, and a desire to protect children from liberal
lunacy, from choosing liberal schools.Vouchers -- or better yet, tax
credits -- offer a real, not a Hobson's choice.
What vouchers amount to is nothing more than Corporate Welfare.Republicans want to put as much public money into private hands as they
@ TiCon2 | 4:44 p.m. & procuradorfiscal | 4:49 p.m.You must have
missed the point of this article. If the private schools get the subsidy,
vouchers or tax credits, within a decade or two there will then be NO CHOICE!
There is choice now IF you pay for it. With vouchers or tax credits there will
end up being no choice, because all the choices will be the same, whether you
are willing to spend the money or not!
didn't the PEOPLE Utah reject vouchers? And now the Legislature is going to
supplant the will of the PEOPLE? So much for Democracy....well Utah Legislature
has the "mock" part down pat.
Public schools are the best way to develop a multi-cultural perspective and
learn about the complexities in modern life. Although the public schools vary
considerably in their ability to fulfill their mission to educate our children,
they remain the best example for learning about the myriad cultures and people
who make up the United States of America.History has used public
schools to develop a national identity with all of the immigrants who have
settled here. Learning together and interacting together has allowed our nation
to progress socially with new ideas and an basic understanding of the American
Dream encompassed in the Declaration of Independence.This is not
necessarily a function of private schools which may be restricted to students
with a particular belief system or other selectivity factor in admissions.
Perhaps the worst example is home schooling where students are indoctrinated to
carry forth the limited ideas of the parent/instructor. Not having exposure to
different people, different cultures, different cultures, and different ideas
leaves the child with perpetuating existing attitudes without questioning the
relevance to their lives. Social development is not served since maintaining
the status quo is the objective, not learning to question the world.
"smaller class sizes, better pay for teachers, technology improvements,
school improvements, supplies that don't come out of your own pocket and the
list goes on and on."The very things that were promised by
charter "choice" advocates in the past. I remember a certain former
legislator actually breaking down in tears at a city meeting as he promised
traditional public school teachers that all of the above would happen if his
company could be given land to build a charter school. Well, he fooled me then
but I won't be fooled again. Charter "choice" has been partially
responsible for higher class sizes, lower pay, fewer technological upgrades, and
the list goes on. I will never be fooled by the lies and propaganda of the
"choice" movement again! "You seem to miss the fact
that we really don't have any choice with the current set-up."Absolute Rubbish! Many choices exist in education today. Some of those
choices require a higher level of personal sacrifice than others do."Nope, i'm told to take my choice and shove it. And continue to
pay."Why shouldn't you continue to pay? If I hire a private
security company, I still pay for police service.
I really think that deciding whether vouchers are a good idea is as simple as
asking this question:Would vouchers improve our children's
education?If the answer is no, then let's forget the whole idea.
But if the answer is yes, let's at least try it. And in almost every place
they've been tried, kids get a better education. That's what is important to
me. Not "saving public schools", not obscure arguments on socialism,
not bowing down to teacher unions. Improving my children's education. Let's
keep our eyes on the prize, please.
I think that most people missed the big message in the article. It is simple.
Once you start receiving government money, eventually the government will come
in and demand greater control over you. If you want to remain as free as
possible, you should not use government money as your primary source of income.
While I to agree with procuradorfiscal that both liberals and conservatives have
the right to pursue their agendas even after being rejected by a vote of the
people, I disagree that liberals have used unfair, dishonest and even draconian
tactics on the same sex marriage issue. Conservatives have dressed
up the unconstitutional ugly sister that is vouchers in lots of devious schemes
and then prevaricated about what their real intent is, as in this case. Perrdue's comment is a symptom of the frustration all Americans feel
with a Congress that effectively plays chicken with defaulting on government
loans - resulting in a down grading of this government's credit rating, a 3
trillion dollar world wide loss of market value from the resulting instability
and continued extreme market volatility all to make a political point. This was
clearly caused by the recalcitrance of conservatives who argued that Washington
was dysfunctional and the only way to fix it was more dysfunctionality. Only the Tailban and Mafia-like organizations advocate making war on
everybody to secure what they want.
"And in almost every place they've been tried, kids get a better
education."Not even in the ballpark. Do some research before
you post the "choice" party line next time. Here is just
one well known example:I suggest you look up the Milwaukee voucher
debacle and see what "choice" did to many students/parents who bought
into the voucher propaganda and suffered the consequences of educational
"companies" that only had profit and not education at their core.
Study the longitudinal data (the Milwaukee program has been in place since 1990)
and you will find the voucher accepting schools do NOT perform at higher rates
when compared with the Milwaukee traditional public schools that were so
demonized. Furthermore, you will find shocking amounts of corruption and a trail
of broken dreams at some of those schools."Improving my
children's education."But what about ALL children's education?
Of course vouchers have improved the education of SOME children but is that
enough? I don't think so. Why can't we focus on improving the education of ALL
children? Vouchers have never and will never be able to do that. Once again,
look at the data. You will find you have been deceived.
This issue would die on its own, if not for those who want to get their snout in
the government trough. There are those who want to put out "Walmart"
style education, getting government money and make a killing, not caring what it
did to the students. These people are putting out huge amounts of money to keep
the issue going. They believe that if they say it long enough, people will
finally give up and try it. Of course if they did, they would never be able to
kill this new entitlement program.Even now these well-funded (much
better than UEA!) groups keep putting out legislation that ties up and hurts
public education in an attempt to drag it down enough that people will try
vouchers. We not only need to stop their attempts to create another government
subsidy, but also stop their relentless attacks and additional burdens they are
putting on our public schools.