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School Vouchers

Updated on May 13, 2009
Good Memories - Don't Fall Asleep!
Good Memories - Don't Fall Asleep!

A Harsh Reality

Public schools have become overrun by liberal agendists who seek to indoctrinate every child with only their view of the world. If a public school wishes to remain neutral and sensitive to the views of every family, they must eradicate the practice of teaching evolution in science classes as fact, and instead propose it as the theory it is, along side its only other opponent creationism. Although it seems that logically, it would be the better choice then to say that a school should be neutral, in this case, the goal is to educate, and in order to properly do so, presenting arguments for and against both theories would be the right choice.

Being a multicultural and multireligious country, it would be better if education on this matter be silent. Evolution does not need to be taught in order to learn about the natural world. Since science is about what is provable, everything that is needed to learn about medicine, physics, biology and other fields, does not require the teaching of evolution. Some exceptions would include such fields as anthropology and paleontology which assume evolution is fact. However, such sciences are generally not taught in lower education and it would probably be safe to assume that it is not a practical issue beyond moral obligations.

Since curriculums involving not only evolution, but also sex education, homosexualization and sometimes even teaching Islam are firmly entrenched in public schools, it would be easier to feed the free market and thereby hand freedom back to parents if we were to go to a school voucher system. School vouchers give the right to choose how parents want their kids educated back to the ones who are best able to make those decisions: the parents.

It's About the Children

School vouchers would not take more money from taxpayers, merely redirect the funding to the schools that most deserve it. Opponents of the voucher system argue that this would weaken the public school system and force them to compete with private school. So what? Teachers wouldn’t lose jobs, they would migrate to the private schools of their choice because as the public schools shrink, the private schools would be growing as previously public school students would enroll in the private ones. No money is lost, and the public school system stranglehold on education would be severely weakened. As an economic side benefit, the thousands of families that are currently sending their children to private schools would recapture some or all of the expenses directed toward their children’s education, which means that more money would be flowing into the marketplace, thereby creating new jobs, business opportunities and stimulating the economy.

The main reason that school vouchers are a good idea, is to give parents choice and not force them to send their children to education systems run by anti-religionists. Since school is obligatory, (and that is a good thing), parents should not have to choose between keeping their children from going to school and breaking the law or sending their children to a school that will teach them ethics and morality in direct contradiction with the parents’ values. If we rightly demand that every child gets sent to school, then we should also give them the choice of where parents send their children.

Diverse Values

That’s alright for religious people, but what about atheists? They don’t want to pay for another child’s religious schooling. Tough cookies. Right now, there is no choice for middle class and poor parents as to where they send their children, but with school vouchers, everyone has the choice about where to send them. It isn’t ideal, but this is America and at least we can give everyone the freedom to make that choice on their own. As a Christian I would support atheists who wish to send their children to a secular education based school, if it meant that I could send my children to the school of my choice. It’s not about whether we are paying for someone to send their kids to an Islamic school or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it’s really about everyone getting the education they deserve in a way that protects the rights of parents to preserve their cultural and religious values.

Personally, I would prefer that no religious schools be funded in whole by the government, but that education be strictly non-partisan, non-religious and non-cultural, meaning dress codes that encourage uniformity, no classes that teach ethics, morals or values and students being enabled to follow a track that will benefit them whether they choose to go to work immediately after graduation or they go on to college. That’s another element that’s missing but will only briefly be covered here. Why don’t schools concentrate on the student’s individual needs and help them to achieve goals that are appropriate for each student? High schools are preparation for community college, which is a good thing, but not for everyone. This issue might actually be addressed with a voucher system - parents can have the choice of sending their children to a school that prepares students for a trade instead of college.

Corruption

A problem with vouchers is when parents start sending their children to schools with the best academic records, there will also be unscrupulous administrators who will lower their standards to draw in greater numbers. Although it is likely that in a more free market school environment, this problem will correct itself, it can simply be addressed by creating a mandate that each school meet minimum requirements to continue to operate, perhaps by leaving the same system that is in place now. Although it is not entirely clear that the current body of regulation is adequate to the task, it is not a problem that cannot be dealt with and ironed out. We should not be afraid of making a change to the voucher system because it isn’t perfect, because the way it is being done today is much worse. One way of evaluating a school’s record is to check college records where high school graduates are attending. This wouldn’t be the best solution because the damage would already done, but it is an additional way to evaluate the private school’s ability to educate its students. Besides, private schools have better academic success rates than public schools. This can only be a good thing for our future generations.

In my nationalized health care article I argued for more government control, and now I am endorsing competition from private schools with government run and regulated public schools. This seems contradictory but I think that generally less government control is better, unless it is clearly necessary that more control is warranted such as in health care. More direct government involvement is necessary for health care not because the government is more efficient, but because they are providing a framework within which health care can be administered fairly and equally. In a school voucher system, there is an additional element involved, mental influence over minors. In the public school system, education is not only non-religious, but biased toward teaching more liberal values and ideas that are in direct conflict with the religious views of parents. In my nationalized health care article I proposed fierce regulation to provide health care that is medical and non-value based so that religious parties of every faith and non-religious clients would not need to be afraid of interference from well meaning health care workers.

Freedom from Oppression - a Basic Right

In a national school voucher system, education is not as straight forward as medical treatment. The human body is generally treated the same across the board, while the human mind must be treated individually. Americans have a right to choose how their children are influenced, except in the case of school. We are ignoring the rights of American citizens to choose a basic freedom upon which this country was established, freedom to worship God as each individual sees fit. It is reasonable to widen that scope and include other religions as well. It is still the lesser of two evils.

School vouchers offer the choice to every family that our broken and dying education system can never give: liberation from education that is hostile toward religious people everywhere, falling in line with the spirit of American independence and freedom A strong education raises up strong individuals that contribute to the vast intellectual  resources of this great nation, and we would be remiss to ignore the opportunity to enhance it.

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    • Alexander Mark profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander Silvius 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks so much Art. I very much appreciate your patience and tolerance.

    • artlader profile image

      artlader 

      7 years ago from Aiken, South Carolina, USA

      Thank you for a reasonable, measured response.

      I think we are simply going to have to agree to disagree on a lot of what you have written and leave it there, but I will tell you that I very much appreciate your mature attitude and your obvious intelligence.

      Thanks,

      Art

    • Alexander Mark profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander Silvius 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      artlader, thanks for reading my hub and commenting.

      That statement is based on personal experience and the experiences of other people I have spoken to or read about.

      In many states (I thought all) the textbooks chosen to teach science - biology for example, only talk about evolution as fact despite the evidence that evolution cannot be proven absolutely. For my sexual education class (does that even belong in school?), I needed a permission slip. For another class, I got to hear all about "gaydar" and the homosexual lifestyle but no permission slip was needed.

      May be you are still allowed to lead your students in the pledge of allegiance, but it isn't done often here in California.

      I came out of school with white guilt, very uncertain about our origins and wondering if I too might be gay. I graduated in 1995, but work with a lot of 20 year olds and have found that their education is more biased than mine was.

      Liberalism is rampant in college too, where teachers (even good ones) laugh openly at the mention of the thought of someone using the Bible. If it's not like that on the East coast, I am glad.

      Even if this was not the case, wouldn't vouchers give parents the power to choose what kind of education their children get?

      Thank you for your respect, but you have mine. Teachers have a heavy responsibility and a difficult job. There have been good teachers in my life, I'll never forget them.

      Please do not view this hub as an attack on all teachers, but too often, bad teachers use their classrooms to spread their own ideals instead of focusing on preparing students for their futures.

    • artlader profile image

      artlader 

      7 years ago from Aiken, South Carolina, USA

      "Public schools have become overrun by liberal agendists who seek to indoctrinate every child with only their view of the world."

      With all due respect, what is this statement based on? My colleagues at the school I teach in are quite conservative, actually.

      And most of the teachers I know at other schools are anything but liberal.

      I am pretty sure they are not indoctrinating anyone, too.

      Regards,

      Art

    • Alexander Mark profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander Silvius 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I think there's one more possible flaw with my proposal, some private school tuitions will be more than what vouchers will be able to cover. This can give them exclusivity as well. But as long as the majority of private schools keep their costs reasonable, it will work. And probably there's no reason it won't work, vouchers will create even greater competition for students that could never have been considered before in the first place. Good thoughts botterguy.

    • profile image

      botterguy 

      9 years ago

      This is an excellent idea. Schools will compete for students just like colleges, without the student (or parent) worrying about $. If this happens a future high school graduate could probably have an equivalent education of an 2 or 4 year degree by today's standards.

    • Alexander Mark profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexander Silvius 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks for the other perspective, it's a great example of how our efforts to control things more actually do the reverse. I am finding as I go to college, that much of the best learning is what I do on my own. Thanks for the endorsement too :-)

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Excellent hub, well thought out as usual. The only point I would make is that the influence of the school can sometimes backfire. In our town, the convent school girls were always the naughtiest. We were taught creationism but my childhood hobby was collecting fossils so I spent a lot of time puzzlling things out for myself.

      Certainly a very good argument . Still think you should go into politics!

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