From the gadflyonthewall blog
On the surface of it, school choice sounds like a great idea.
Parents will get to shop for schools and pick the one that best suits their children.
Oh! Look, Honey! This one has an exceptional music program! That one excels in math and science! The drama program at this one is first in the state!
But that’s not at all what school choice actually is.
In reality, it’s just a scam to make private schools cheaper for rich people, further erode the public school system and allow for-profit corporations to gobble up education dollars meant to help children succeed.
1) Voucher programs almost never provide students with full tuition.
2) Charter and voucher schools don’t have to accept everyone
3) Charter Schools are notorious for kicking out hard to teach students
4) Voucher and charter schools actually give parents less choice than traditional public schools
Public schools are governed by different rules than charter and voucher schools. Most public schools are run by a school board made up of duly-elected members from the community. The school board is accountable to that community. Residents have the right to be present at votes and debates, have a right to access public documents about how tax money is being spent, etc. None of this is true at most charter or voucher schools. They are run by executive boards or committees that are not accountable to parents. If you don’t like what your public school is doing, you can organize, vote for new leadership or even take a leadership role, yourself. If you don’t like what your charter or voucher school is doing, your only choice is to withdraw your child. See ya.
5) Charter Schools do no better and often much worse than traditional public schools
6) Charters and voucher schools increase segregation
7) Charter and voucher schools take away funding at traditional public schools
8) Properly funding parallel school systems would be incredibly wasteful and expensive
9) School choice takes away attention from the real problems in our public schools – poverty and funding equity
10) School choice is not supported by a grass roots movement. It is supported by billionaires.
The proponents of school choice will tell you that they are only doing the will of the people. This is what parents want, they say. Baloney. While there are individuals who support school choice, the overwhelming majority of money behind this movement comes from conservative billionaires actively trying to dismantle the public education system. They want to steal the public system and replace it with a private one. They don’t care about your child. They just want to steal the hundreds of billions of tax dollars we pay to educate our children. This is not philanthropy. It is a business transaction meant to screw you and your child out of your rights.
If we really want to ensure every child in this country gets an excellent education, the answer isn’t school choice. Instead, we need to commit to supporting our public school system. We all need to be in this together. Yes, our schools should look at the needs of each child and tailor education to fit appropriately. But that shouldn’t be done in parallel school systems. It should be done under the same umbrella. That way, you can’t defund and defraud one without hurting all. It can’t just be about your child. It has to be about all children.
That’s the only choice worth making.