There has always been school choice
Carroll County Independent, May 18th, 2017
If there is one issue that bothers us the most
in current politics it is school choice. Proponents
of legislation to fund scholarships or vouchers
that would subsidize children attending private
schools argue that there is a need for parents to
make educational decisions for their children
that would take them out of public schools, and
that many cannot make that choice for financial
The truth is that Americans have always had
the freedom to choose how they want their children
educated, and even today thousands of private
schools attest to that fact, and many more
students are schooled at home.
The real issue is
not freedom of choice but subsidizing alternatives
to public schooling using tax revenues.
To us this idea of either taking funds away
from public schools to help fund private schools
(or alternatively, raising taxes to pay for the additional
funding) undercuts two core ideas in our
democracy: providing a common education that
supports an informed electorate able to find common
ground and shared purposes, and having the
governments we fund provide the greatest good to
the greatest number at the lowest reasonable cost.
Heaven knows that we already have a country
where people even in the same town or city seem
to live in different worlds and sometimes find it
impossible to talk to others not in their group.
The last thing we should do is put out the fire under
the “melting pot” that made people from many
cultures and countries one.
We need to find more
common ground, not less, and that process begins
in our schools.
Also, we think that those who feel public
schools do not provide a good education fail to see
how much much our schools have changed over
the years and adapted themselves to provide the
education needed to succeed in the current world
economy. We report on that progress nearly every
week in this newspaper.
We accept that there are parents who feel
strongly that their children need a religious as
well as an academic education. Our Constitution,
however, is founded on a clear separation of
church and state, and anyone paying attention to
the murderous effects of religious factions competing
for political power in the world, should be
thankful for our founders’ decision to keep religion
and government separate