"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Friday, May 19, 2017

"There has always been school choice"

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 reasons. 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

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