This is in response to Friday’s editorial concerning EdChoice. There is more than one thing being overlooked concerning EdChoice. First, private schools are not held to the same standards as public schools as far as testing and the state report card. Voucher students no longer need to take the state achievement tests that are required for public school students. Private/parochial schools are not rated on the state report card as public schools are.
According to the Ohio Department of Education, there are 1,729,916 public school students and 227,448 private/parochial students in Ohio. Under the expanded plan, if everyone eligible takes advantage, 563,337 students would need a private/parochial school to go to. Private/parochial school capacity would need to triple. Under the limited plan private/parochial school capacity would need to increase by 88%.
Parental involvement is key to success for a child in school. A teacher in a failing school will tell you not many show up for parent-teacher conferences. The best parents of the best students will use vouchers. The failing school becomes worse and eventually becomes a dumping ground. Some areas do not have a viable private/parochial school option. Students who never attended public schools can now use vouchers.
This solution is unsustainable. The answer is to solve the problems with the public schools. Finding ways to increase parental involvement would be a giant first step. The legislature has repeatedly been ordered to fix the public schools, yet nothing gets done. Vouchers are the easy way out.
I am strongly pro-life. Pro-life includes not only conception to birth, but also what happens to that child during the rest of its life. Pro-education is pro-life.
Terry Knebel, Delphos