Skip to comments.School Choice / Vouchers
Posted on 12/15/2002 11:00:12 AM PST by chasio649
* School choice is an initiative that gives people the option of selecting the school their child will attend. Money that is currently spent on a child's public education would be given to his/her parents in the form of a voucher which could be used at the school of their choice. (1)
* In Cleveland's Trial Voucher Program, minorities from single parent households who used their vouchers at Catholic schools, had higher test scores and graduation rates than white children in the public school system.(2) In a 1997 Harvard study, 63% of the parents said they were "very satisfied" with the quality of academics in Cleveland's Trial Voucher Program.(3)
* Public schools in Washington, D.C. cost $8,920 per student in the 94-95 school year (among the highest in the U.S.) and ranked near the bottom on almost every level of performance.(4) Upon entering the D.C. school system, students are shown to be average.(12) As of 1996, there were 88 private schools in the D.C. area that cost $4,000 per year or less.(4)
* In the following cities, as of 1998, the percentage of public school teachers who send their children to private school are:
Los Angeles - 18.9% New York - 21.4% Boston - 24.4% Miami - 35.4% (3)
* According to a July 1996 Department of Education report, 36.2% of private school teachers are "Highly Satisfied" with their work, while 11.2% of public school teachers are.(3)
* As of 1998, public school teachers make 52% more than private school teachers.(3)
* 46% of private school budgets go to teacher pay. If public schools paid teachers that same percentage, the average public school teacher's annual salary would jump from $38,509 to $54,421. (Figures are for 1998)(3)
* Teacher's unions oppose school choice and as of June 1998, are appealing a decision made by Wisconsin's State Supreme Court that school vouchers are constitutional.(1)
* Teacher's unions would lose money and power as a result of vouchers.(2) As of 1998, the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers (the two largest teacher's unions) have a combined total of over 3.2 million members, with combined dues in excess of 1.2 billion dollars, in addition to money received from government grants. The NEA president (Bob Chase) and the AFT president (Sandra Feldman) each make over $300,000 a year. (7)(8)
* The NEA membership was the 4th highest contributor to federal candidates and parties in 95-96 election cycle. They contributed $3,283,141 (96% to Democrats, 4% to Republicans). The AFT membership was the 16th highest contributor. They contributed $2,423,088 (99% to Democrats, 1% to Republicans).(9)
* As of 1998, Democrats, as a whole, do not support school choice. (10)
* Bill Clinton vetoed a trial voucher program on May 20, 1998 that would have given $3,200 vouchers to 2,000 Washington D.C. schoolchildren (from families with annual incomes of less than $16,000) for use at the school of their choice.(11) There are 60 private schools in the D.C. area that cost $3,200 per year or less.(4) Bill Clinton sent his daughter to a private school in Northwest Washington.(11)
* Al Gore is opposed to school choice. He is sending, or has sent, his children to private schools.(1)
* Republicans, as a whole, are in favor of school choice and sponsored the Washington D.C. voucher program that Bill Clinton vetoed.(10)
1) Editorial: "School choice wins big in Wisconsin." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, June 15-21, 1998.
2) Kondracke, Morton. "Commentary: Learning to buck the education establishment." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, August 18-24, 1997.
3) Murdock, Deroy. "Teachers warm to school choice." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, May 25-31, 1998.
4) Dobson, James. "Family News from Focus on the Family." April 1998. Sources cited: (a)U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (b)USA Today (c)The Heritage Foundation. (d)Washington Scholarship Foundation & Independent School Guide for Washington D.C. & Surrounding Areas.
6) Kronholz, June. "Proposed Merger of Two Big Teachers Unions Is Threatened by Split Among NEA's members." The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 1998.
7) Lieberman, Myron. "The Teacher Unions: How the NEA and the AFT Sabotage Reform & Hold Parents, Students, Teachers & Taxpayers Hostage to Bureaucracy." Book Review by Martin Morse Wooster: "Teacher unions won't release the system they hold hostage." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, October 1997.
8) Fossedal, Greg & Pritchett, Kevin. "The out-of-touch teachers' unions." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, July 13-19, 1998.
9) Center for Responsive Politics Website (www.crp.org) August 28, 1998.
10) Project Vote Smart Website (www.vote-smart.org) September 3, 1998.
11) Bedard, Paul. "GOP leaders decry Clinton's veto of D.C. tuition vouchers." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, May 25-31, 1998.
12) Editorial: "The PTA turns its back on poor children." Washington Times National Weekly Edition, May 25-31, 1998.