Monday, September 2, 2019

Vouchers Are Not the Solution for Improving Public Schools Essay

â€Å"Vouchers lead us away from the basic American tradition of a free, quality public education for every student and undermine the kind of comprehensive, systemic school reform that is working [†¦]† (Tirozzi, 1997). This quote taken from Gerald Tirozzi, the assistant U.S. secretary of education for elementary and secondary education, sums up the issue of vouchers. Milton Friedman, a free-market theorist, introduced vouchers, which funnel public funds to private schools, more than forty years ago (Resnick, 1998). Vouchers redirect money that would have been spent on educating a child in the public school system to a private school of the parent’s choosing. Voucher use is based on two factors, student eligibility and school eligibility. Those students who would be eligible for vouchers are among those in low-income families. School eligibility widely varies state by state. In some states school eligibility is restricted only to nonsectarian private schools, where elsewhere any private school is eligible (Resnick, 1998). Those who support vouchers offer three reasons for their position. One reason being that most public schools are failing, secondly vouchers help the children who use them, and thirdly vouchers create competition that motivates public schools to improve (Resnick, 1998). However, opponents argue that funding should be put toward improving the current public school system for the masses instead of allowing a better education to an elite few. Research is largely oppos ed to vouchers. Vouchers imprudently use public funds to back religious education, degrade public education, and support elitism. Vouchers are set up such that they take money from public school funds and redirect it towards private schools an... ... nations schools are not failing, but would benefit from improvement, the children that do receive the vouchers are but an elite few and the benefits of a private school education as opposed to public has yet to be proven. Supporters make the last argument that vouchers create competition that motivates the public schools to improve, however at the same time the funding that needs to go towards improvements is being stripped away resulting in deterioration of the public school system. As supported vouchers unfavorably use public funds to back religious education, degrade public education, and support elitism where it should not be. The public school system was created to accept all children no matter what. The system of vouchers causes the school system to take several steps back on the progress it has made as a result of years of struggle to become truly public.

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