Letter: Parents have the right to use their own tax money

Sep. 01, 2013 @ 01:01 AM

To the editor:

I am responding to Dr. Steve Stone’s letter concerning school vouchers.

I hope and pray that parents in Caldwell County never need to remove their child from public schools because the child is always taught truth, learning time is wisely used, the child is treated fairly by everyone, and the child is excelling in academics. I pray for teachers and students in Caldwell County Schools. But, I do not agree with Dr. Stone’s analogy comparing tax money for building and repairing roads with tax money for education. How does money used for roads in any way relate to money used to educate children whose future parents have placed above everything else in their lives? I understand what Dr. Stone is saying, but I see things differently. Parents should have complete control of their child’s future! Education provides a roadway to the child’s future. The best roadway may or may not be public schools. The better the education, the greater the opportunities for a successful future. Can a child be prepared for greater opportunities with a private school education? I believe so. I sent four children through school and each were completely different from the others. What one child needed was very different from the others. That is true of most children.

Government education spending per child usually increases, just as the spending for roads. If the amount of tax dollars used for the building and care of roads were doubled would you expect roads to be set for life? No, the more money spent on roads does not mean roads will last longer, and there is no evidence that higher government education spending per student produces higher student achievement. In June 1993, the Wall Street Journal published a table comparing government school systems of all states on the basis of three factors: annual cost per student, 1992 SAT scores, and 1992 NAEP eighth-grade scores. Utah ranked last in spending by far, but did very well on test scores. Iowa ranked highest on both the NAEP and the SAT, but was 10th in spending. Students in the highest-spending states ranked low academically.

What option do parents whose child(ren) is/are not achieving in public schools have, if they do not have the funds for private school tuition? I believe we should offer these parents a voucher. Shouldn’t parents have the right to school choice with their tax money?

Helen Beam

Lenoir