Letter: County superintendent not an expert on private schools

Jul. 26, 2013 @ 01:41 AM

To the editor:

Regarding the possibility of school vouchers for families who choose private or charter schools, let us remember that these families are also taxpayers. They are the taxpayers who fund public education even though their children don’t attend public schools. Thousands of students in North Carolina have never attended the schools that their tax monies have assisted. Hundreds of homeschool families in N.C. also pay their taxes, which aid a resource that they choose not to use.

Steve Stone’s assumption that private schools have no accountability has no basis in fact. Private Christian schools are registered with the Department of Non-Public Education in Raleigh. Reports are filed yearly, and records are checked by the DPNPE. We meet codes for fire and safety regulations, turn in yearly attendance records, immunization reports and do yearly national testing such as the Stanford Achievement Tests. Juniors and seniors are required to take the ACT and/or SAT college entrance tests.

Graduates of Christian schools have been accepted at state universities as well as private colleges. Caldwell County has had at least one Christian school since 1978. When the economy here was strong, there were four schools throughout the county. Alumni have served in nearly all branches of the military, become nurses, teachers, school administrators, ministers, music directors, college professors, radiologists, realtors, plumbers, electricians, cosmetologists, business owners, computer technicians and parents who now have grandchildren in private schools.

Private schools may also become members of the North Carolina Christian School Association of 75 schools across the state as well as the American Association of Christian Schools.

Private schools are accountable to the families that they serve, realizing that they sacrificially pay tuition with their hard-earned money. Faith-based schools are accountable most of all to God and the principles of equity established in Scriptures.

Faith-based schools often have to operate on an extremely limited budget since they receive no government funding. Teachers work for a fraction of the salary tax-funded school personnel receive. Please do not insult them, their credentials and their conscience without knowing the facts.

Audrey Setzer

Lenoir