An article in the Nov. 20 Madison County Journal, “McGhee ready to be rid of voucher discussion,” prompted the following comments.
A quote attributed to Dr. Mitch McGhee, “We’ve got enough economic woes and other issues that we really needed to be putting our time and energy into other real problems instead of trying to create another problem” caught my eye. I believe that competition in any endeavor raises the level of performance.
The article states that Dr. McGhee believes this premise is flawed because public and private schools aren’t on an equal playing field. A reason for this is that public, government, schools must accept all students while private schools need not. What is not considered is that some students do not fare well in public school and could be better served in a private school venue. For parents who have the financial resources to afford private school, this is not a problem. Students from poorer families, who might profit from private school, are forced to struggle in public schools. A voucher system to reduce this inequity should be a high priority consideration. I believe the public school system would benefit, the students moved to private schools would benefit, and society at large would benefit the most.
Continued opposition to a voucher program implies that the public school recognizes flaws in their product and fear a mass migration of students to private schools with attendant loss of revenue. This is akin to the difficulties of U.S. auto makers faced with diminished revenue due to flight of customers to rivals. The solution for either the schools or the auto makers is not to fear competition but to embrace it. Provide a superior education product and students will not migrate elsewhere. Perhaps more focus on academic excellence is what is needed, not fighting voucher programs.
No, I believe that school vouchers allow "FREEDOM" of choice for many parents whose children are attending government schools. Test scores from private schools demonstrate the superiority of the products of the private system vs. the government. The almighty government has not a constitutional right to provide education to the masses. Just another social, government program.