Voucher Programs: A Discrimination
The emphasis on improving public education in the United States has been growing for years.Legislators, privately owned companies, school boards and community organizations are trying to come up with intelligent ways to rescue children from deteriorating public schools, particularly schools located in inner cities.They believe a possible solution to the problem involves offering voucher programs, which would provide financial-aid for families not fortunate enough to pay for their children to attend private schooling.
Vouchers are only available to the students who excel in certain areas and rarely cover the cost of the entire education.
Taxpayers will be paying higher taxes to compensate for the students attending private schools through voucher programs. This method of segregation not only widens the gap between public and private education but it also isolates a small percentage of ‘desirable” students from the rest of society. Voucher programs will only benefit a minute amount of students while hurting the entire school system and the general public.
Voucher programs help separate the gap between faltering public schools and unambiguous private schools. What good would it do to segregate the brightest kids from society? (90% of students attend public schools) It would improve their education by a small fraction, but as a whole, society itself will not improve. In fact, society will falter. Public schools will increasingly weaken by taking the strongest components out and joining them with their counterparts in private schools. What incentive will that give the government to make public schooling better, if the beneficiaries are warded of into a “better” education?
The good would leave and the bad would stay, making public schools even worse than they already are. Vouchers also undermine the court case Brown vs. Board of Education, which determined that separate but equal is definitely not equal. Earl Warren, the judge residing over the case stated, “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” (Garrety, 787). Vouchers will segregate the society by placing students in separate facilities with tax payers” money. This form of separation is wrong. On average, a student receiving a voucher will be granted $2,500-$5,000 a year for private education.
This is usually enough money to send a student to a local private school funded by the church. “In many areas, 80 percent of vouchers would be used in school whose central mission is religious training” (Internet source 1) Religion is everywhere in these schools. Prayers fill the schools halls, assemblies, sporting events and classrooms. Taking taxpayers money and channeling it into voucher programs is a travesty. It causes deliberate and unavoidable conflict between the church and the state.
In the 1940″s the High Court declared that, “no tax in any amount large or small… e levied to support any religious activities or institutions” (Internet source 1) and in 1997 the government also concluded the refusal to fund, “inculcation of religious beliefs,” (Internet source 1). Voucher programs would demand citizens of all races and ages to pay for a religious education for children they will never know. How could the government not subsidize institutions that offer a curriculum entirely different than the norm? For example a school run by an extremist group like the Ku Klux Klan, or a curriculum primarily focusing on communism will also demand funding.
The government will have to offer them funding for vouchers just like every other religiously affiliated private school. The American public will be contributing to the advancements of these types of schooling. This is not fair! Voucher programs, in no possible form can ameliorate public education. Some public schools will be left with fewer dollars than in previous years, and they will have the poorest and least intelligent students to teach. No teacher will want to teach in such circumstances. They know that they will possibly receive pay cuts, which will give little to no incentive for teachers to stay teaching at public schools.
It will promote unqualified and inexperienced faculty to fill the unwanted positions, which will make the situation even worse than it already is. There would be a rise in popularity for teaching jobs in private schools, driving potential prospects for teachers in public schools away. As a whole, voucher programs pose an immense threat to the public education system. They have proven to be unpopular amongst states around the entire country. “When offered to vote on voucher-like programs, the public has consistently rejected them; voters in 19 states have rejected such proposals in referendum ballots.
In the November 1998 election, for example, Colorado voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed parochial schools to receive public funds through a complicated tuition tax-credit scheme. Indeed voters have rejected all but one tuition voucher proposals put to the ballot since the first such vote 30 years ago. ” (Internet source 2) It is obvious that vouchers are not the solution to public education struggling to Vouchers sidetrack the building of support for public schools which is exactly what public schools need.
The United States government should try and come up with a solution, which will benefit the school system as a whole. Vouchers only benefit . 1% of all students attending schools throughout the United States. Vouchers do not help to improve deteriorating public schools, and they do not help the majority of students in those schools. How can the government make families (already struggling financially to send their children to public schools) help pay for kids attending private schools through voucher programs? It cannot happen and never will!