Vouchers Improve Educational Opportunities for All


Utahns are starting to see the benefits of educational choice that vouchers can provide. I think that is a healthy development. As we know we don't have a captive audience, it becomes more important to provide a product that people will want to consume. Education is such a product.

For the first time since such polls have been conducted, there are now more Utahns that favor education vouchers for children than don't. This is a great development. As more people contemplate the importance of a good education and how more choices contribute to that end, I expect these numbers to go up.

I also am pleased with the excellence in education that public charter schools have fostered. My children attend such a charter school campus, where administrators and educators are truly committed to providing both excellence in educational instruction and high expectations when it comes to good citizenship.

School vouchers can only improve this development, giving families across the economic scale better opportunities to educate their children.

It is human nature (for most people) to be kind and courteous. It has always been a mainstay of American society, promulgated from religious and other traditional values, that if I am kind to others, I can expect others to--and they will likely--be kind to me.

It is not human nature, however, to excel in creativity. The greatness of competition (as long as it is not cut-throat or otherwise unethical or illegal) is that it fosters new and improved ways of doing things. Anyone who claims to want more and better education for our children should welcome the improvements that can occur through greater choice in education.

Educational vouchers are one means to promulgate such improvement through choice.

Comments

  1. How do you define cut-throat, unethical or illegal? Because the current voucher proposals raise some definite red flags. One side can pick and choose which clients they want to serve. The other side must serve any client that walks through the door. One side can charge extra money for the service it provides. The other side is prohibited to charge. One side can hire any employees it chooses and has no acountability standards it is required to meet. The other side is highly regulated, with benchmarks it must meet, or lose funding. That doesn't sound like fair competition.

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  2. Natalie,

    Thanks for your comments. You are right--it is not fair. I'm not sure how to deal with the fact that "only one side can pick and choose". You are right that the private educational sector can charge extra money for its services, but it can also charge less money for its services--which it usually does. The public side IS too highly regulated--by the federal government "with benchmarks it must meet, or lose funding." I think federal oversight of Utah Public Education is a detriment which should be done away with. It is also too highly regulated in that poor-performing teachers cannot easily be let go, and that it is much to difficult to remove highly disruptive students from the classroom. I support improvements in these areas.

    The fairness issue you raise, however, completely regards the public vs. private educational establishments. My concern is that when it comes to long-term fairness, the children should be given exclusive consideration. It is clear that children will generally be educated better when there are more educational choices.

    And in this long-term, more educators will be given an opportunity to teach in much less onerously regulated environments.

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  3. One idea is to remove the Federal Government from the business of education. Overly bureaucratic public education is good for no one. Competition within the private sector will take care of exorbitant prices.

    I wouldn't blame vouchers for the stiff requirements given to public education, but I would say that is a serious concern. Any good voucher proposal would not take more from public schools than it would cost to educate the student, were they to remain. Any extra that private schools charged would need to be met by that student--not the government.

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