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Vouchers is one of those things that sounds great, how can anyone be against a parent picking a school for their child? The problem is when we pull back the layers what we are left with is a system not designed to educate children, but one meant to push a publicly funded religious education (and we all know which one), bludgeon public schools and to funnel children into an overall inferior system.
Let me acknowledge that some private schools that accept vouchers do it right. That are credits to their communities and students but that is not the majority of them.
The vast majority of voucher schools something like 83 percent are religious and we all know what the religion is. There is nothing wrong with you wanting your child to have a religious education, I do however think there is something wrong with making the public pay for it.
Then most of the students that leave public schools to take vouchers leave schools with a grade of C or above, which begs the question, what are they fleeing from, and then the vast amount that take a voucher give up within three years. Now there are lots of reasons why somebody might give up a voucher but one of those is they realize they were getting a poor education.
Why are we pouring billions into a system where most kids don’t stay and leave good schools to go to? Especially since our public schools are starved of resources. Oh wait, I think I answered that question.
Next, voucher schools don’t have to have a recognized curriculum, many teach junk science and history, the teachers don’t have to have degrees or certifications, their hiring practices don’t have the same rigor as public schools, they can pick what students they take and keep and there is a long history of excluding/discriminating against disabled and LGBTQ children and they have so little accountability you might as well say they have none, heck most don’t even have to report how they spend the public money they receive.
Then lets talk about those tests which are so important that public schools live and die on them. Voucher schools are exempt. None of the schools get a grade, none of the teachers get a VAM score and none of the kids are held back or not allowed to graduate if they do not pass a test. Why are the tests so important for public schools and not important at all for voucher schools? Well we all know the reason for that.
This is the system that Tallahassee has chosen to invest billions and billions of dollars in. I am outraged that our legislators care so little about our children that they think this is a good option.
Now I am not totally against vouchers. I think if a private school offers a program that a nearby public school doesn’t then that is a conversation we should have. Public schools don’t do everything great and have answers for every student. Though at the end of the day I am for public resources going to public schools.