Comments about ‘My view: Vouchers' effect on competition, choice’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 29 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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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.

spring street

Wait - so you mean if you accept government money, you have to follow government rules?


Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

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.

Huntsville, UT

Be careful what you ask for...

Huntsville, UT


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!).

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ LBU: Do you believe people who have no kids should be paying for everybody else's kids to go to school?


@spring street

There 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.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

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.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

@ Voice of Reason

If "the money be used only for certified schools" Big Brother PC rules can and will follow regardless of whether it "passes" through parents.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

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.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.



It'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.



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.


"easily dismissing" the argument in no way addresses it. ;}

Southern, UT

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 for.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

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?



You 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!

Eagle Mountain, UT

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.

Tooele, UT

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.

Eagle Mountain, UT


The 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 right.

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