Comments about ‘Vouchers will not help’

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Published: Wednesday, April 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

Vouchers help add an added element of competition. Private enterprise, inspired by the freedom of the marketplace has proven to be vastly superior to the government monopoly of an industry. This is not to say that government shouldn't have a role in our society. We are in a state of denial to the poor state of our national public school system. Our children deserve better.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Even private schools need to meet state and federal education standards in most states. I can't speak for Utah. I have heard that Utah's home schools laws are some of the most liberal, and least enforced out of any state. But most states required schools to still meet state academic standards - regardless if they are private, charter or public.

So perhaps in Utah what you say is true, but in much of the rest of the nation, vouchers would not change what you are describing.

I personally, even though my wife is a public school teacher, an very pro voucher. Nothing makes a service provider more responsive than knowing they can loose your business.

Ninjutsu
Sandy, UT

WestGranger:

Private enterprise and competition are the bedrock of our economy and must always be. Competition is good when deciding on buying a new car, a houseboat, or a soda. However, there are some things that must not left to the market place. If we were to privatize the fire department, people who could only afford the cheapest response team would likely be dead along with many of their neighbors.
If we were to privatize education, there would necessarily be both winners and losers. What does society then do with the losers? Early in our county's founding the decision was made to educate all citizens. That was partly to avoid the European-style stratification of society. Do we really want to further deepen the gulf between the rich and the poor? That's not the America I grew up in.
Education is simply too important to be left to the dog-eat-dog-world of competition. The stakes are simply too high.

stevo123
slc, ut

Can some one who is pro voucher explain something to me? How is taking a portion of MY hard earned taxes to put YOUR child through private school a conservative principle?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The only time private enterprise provides better products and services is when it is catering to the rich. There is no case on record where private enterprise provides products and services at less cost that when our national government does it.

Competition is good for some products and services, things that you buy, use and buy again. If you don’t like the product you can take it back and not buy it again.

Education is not that sort of thing. If the product is faulty, it is usually too late to do anything about it. And there is no guarantees or warranties that you can fall back on.

The first phase of education, that of learning how to learn, starts with the parent and continues through the lower grades, may be the most flexible and lend itself to local and even private methods.

Starting with the upper grades a person should start to practice the skill of learning and be exposed to the widest ranger of knowledge possible. This is the case for schools governed by the national government as opposed to the restricted curriculum of local or private schools.

JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

stevo123: "Can some one who is pro voucher explain something to me? How is taking a portion of MY hard earned taxes to put YOUR child through private school a conservative principle?"

As a conservative and voucher supporter, I'll give it a shot.

We already take a portion of YOUR and MY hard earned money to educate EVERY child in the state. The real question is why you are completely comfortable if Johnny is educated via the public school system with your money, but abhor the thought that Johnny might receive the same (or even better) education via a private school?

The conservative principle at work here is that Johnny receives the best education possible while keeping costs down. I just want him to learn the most for every dollar of my tax dollars spent. I don't care if it comes from a public school or a private school.

Voucher supporters think that the voucher mechanism itself will help spur competition and like everything else in the free market, drive up quality when schools know that the competition will steal away your students (and the money that goes with them) if you don't do it right.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The current libertarian/conservative claque in Utah wants to ultimately eliminate all public involvement with education. That's the curve we're on, as the legislature gradually starves the current system, forcing it to fail and thus fulfilling a self-fulfilling prophecy.Vouchers are only a step toward their real goal, which is to privatize everything. Then rich parents would be able to enrich the likes of Howard Stephenson and his ed-for-profit pals.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

No matter what else you call it, a private school is a private business and has different motives and goals than a public school. Government should not subsidize business operations.

The competition is in the salesmanship of the promised results, and not in the success or failure of the students. Education should not be a commercially competitive commodity.

The curriculum even when complying with government standards will be aimed at the private goals of the owner/sponsor. So if you pay for private schooling, you will be paying for private goals whether you want to or not. Unlike taxes you have the right to be very selective about which private entities you support.

As for costs to you, private schools will cost you more and you have guarantee that the education is better.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I guess some people do not read the results. Vouchers can reduce our school expenses, and improve our children's scores not only the private school, but also the public school scores. However they have not had a whole state using them as yet. Let's wait and see how they do. Common Core may not be so hot. Why is the Meridian School using Singapore math? Can't the public schools use it? So far as I can tell vouchers are doing better for children than sticking all children into public schools.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

We already have proven how successful a voucher program would be. Where government money is given to individuals and then they have the choice of where to spend that money. They can pick the school that they want, no matter whether it is private or state sponsored, or even religious. The GI bill has proven that you can let people choose which school to go to, and schools will compete for their "customers."

The current monopoly public K-12 are failing to educate our children. Teachers even admit they can't help students without parents help. We need to break up this monopoly establishment.

There is also a market clearing price for labor, and you can't escape the laws of supply and demand. If there are more people able to be teachers, then that will push the price of that labor down. When there are more teachers than the market demands, wages fall. Any profession is subject to these basic economics. If there are fewer ditch diggers, then they could demand higher wages.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

“How is taking a portion of MY hard earned taxes to put YOUR child through private school a conservative principle?”
Because your cash is being taken to educate a child: Period. The only question is who will do it best. Some think public school; others think private; and yet others think competition improves both options
Furthermore the cash value of a voucher is often cheaper than the cost to the public school.

I used to oppose vouchers – but have come to agree that freedom to place a child where they will do best. is the best choice for society at large

The Hammer
lehi, utah

Vouchers won't provide freedom as more and more private schools will be forced through simple economics to accept them or close their doors. Its the same principle that applies to pell grants and how eventaully all private institutions were forced to accept them and the strings attached to them in order to survive economically.

Vouchers will likely bring all schooling anywhere under the governance and regulation of the federal government and therefore everyones choice will be taken away. Vouchers have never been conservative they are a liberal idea that disguises itself in the robes of competition.

Web Geek
Lehi, UT

The voucher supporters here have failed to address the main point of the letter to the editor: That vouchers will bring private schools under MORE government influence, not less. Is that what you really want?

"He who pays the piper calls the tune". If government is paying for the education, government has control of the education. Instead of bringing more schools under government supervision, we should be trying to find ways to improve the schools that are already under government supervision.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

"No matter what else you call it, a private school is a private business and has different motives and goals than a public school. Government should not subsidize business operations."

Kind of like hospitals.... right? We used to have lots of government and charity owned, and now we have privately corporate owned hospitals. And we prevented public dollars being spent there?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Vouchers are only a step toward their real goal, which is to privatize everything."

Yeah. So?

Why wouldn't we want to do what's best for our kids?

wrz
Pheonix, AZ

@UtahBlueDevil:
"Nothing makes a service provider more responsive than knowing they can loose your business."

The service provider, namely public schools, needn't worry. There will always be public schools since there will generally be a limited number of private schools which students can select to attend. Furthermore, private schools tend to select students they will accept to attend... the rest being relegated to public schools.

Alfred
Pheonix, AZ

@JoeCapitalist2:
"The real question is why you are completely comfortable if Johnny is educated via the public school system with your money, but abhor the thought that Johnny might receive the same (or even better) education via a private school?"

The reason Johnny's parents would pick a private school is because they feel it would be a better education than provided by a public school, else why do it?

The rub is, every kid deserves the best education, and there's not enough private schools for all kids to participate. So, some kids, those not selected by a public school, are relegated to public schools where they get comparatively a less desirable education. We cannot condone government funding where some kids getting a better education than others.

"Voucher supporters think that the voucher mechanism itself will help spur competition..."

That's a ruse to help support their point to get public money to fund their private school selection. If parents wish a private education for their kids, let them take private money and fund it.

VST
Bountiful, UT

Have we not "seen this movie before?"

If memory serves me correctly, about five or so years ago the legislature passed legislation that set up something like a voucher program. Then a significant number of citizens in our State (lots of them were conservatives) put together a petition that made it to the ballot. The petition soundly overthrew the legislatively passed program.

To me, I think we have been there – done that – do not need to do it again. So far, the Legislators in Utah have refused to pursue it again for obvious reasons – the like to be re-elected.

Mr. Bean
Pheonix, AZ

@What in Tucket?:
"So far as I can tell vouchers are doing better for children than sticking all children into public schools."

Probably true... but not all students can get into private schools for a number of reasons, including (1) not enough private school space to handle all kids, and (2) private school student selection procedures. Public funding should not be used in a discriminatory way to provide a better education for some and not for all.

@Counter Intelligence:
"I ... have come to agree that freedom to place a child where they will do best is the best choice for society at large."

That would be nice... but all kids can't be placed where they will do best because there is limited space in private schools... where they could do best.

@procuradorfiscal:
"Why wouldn't we want to do what's best for our kids?"

Would that be ALL kids... including those who would not be selected by private schools for whatever reason?

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Vouchers Would Make Schools More Receptive to Parents Concerns.

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