Vouchers Liberate Communities

Published October 9, 2008

Dear Editor:

In your Sept. 30 anti-school-choice editorial, you ask why anyone would want to “take money away” from public schools that are “held accountable by the No Child Left Behind Act” and give it to private schools. (“In Our View: School choice shaky concept.”)

Here are some answers to your question:

Because when the money is converted to scholarships (vouchers), it follows children to the schools their parents deem best for them. Families are the beneficiaries, not institutions.

Because schools should be accountable to parents, not government bureaucrats. When families can vote with their feet, school officials have an incentive to improve their programs. 

Because even the best public schools are hard-pressed to address the needs of every child. Scholarships are helping disabled or otherwise needy children across the country find help from an array of school choices, private or public.

You say that communities are “anchored to public schools.” Wouldn’t it be better for communities to be liberated to do what’s best for each child, instead of a system?

Robert Holland ([email protected]) is Senior Fellow for Education Policy at The Heartland Institute.