Heresy: why I support school vouchers (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at
Thu Aug 5 19:10:55 PDT 1999

if memory serves, this list discussed vouchers and other 'reform' schemes earlier in the year, below are slightly edited comments that I sent to list where post with subject header originally appeared... Michael Hoover

> Subject: Re: Heresy: why I support school vouchers
> >
> >private schools shouldn't be a 'right' for affluent...there should be
> >no private schools at all & no parents should be able to choose 'exit'
> >option, school district fiscal disparities caused by uneven
> >distribution of property tax revenues (which still generate about 50%
> >of public school funds) must be eliminated, and the approximately
> >16,000 independent school districts need to be consolidated (consider
> >that there were over 60,000 such districts at mid-century)...
> >
> >re. universal fully-funded vouchers, they aren't gonna happen because
> >the premium attached to the value of homes is directly related to quality
> >of the local school district...middle/upper-middle strata parents are
> >generally satisifed with the quality of their kids education and *anything*
> >that could equalize quality between districts runs counter to what
> >they perceive their interests as homeowners - life, liberty, and
> >property values! - to be by devaluing their premium...
> >
> >moreover, many parents who have already placed their kids in private
> >schools (as well as private school administrators) are not strong
> >advocates of vouchers because they sense that public funds will come
> >with strings attached (church-state, affirmative action, sex ed, equal
> >access, etc. issues)...
> >
> >studies of universal fully funded voucher plans in the Netherlands and
> >Chile (begun during Pinochet's dictatorship) indicate that they have
> >exacerbated already existing inequalities/inequities of public
> >systems...privatization increases such gaps without making schools
> >better while reducing public efforts to reduce such conditions because
> >it relies on the market to bring about improvements that never come...
> >
> >while polls show that more minority parents support vouchers than
> >their white counterparts, the movers and shakers of such schemes are
> >"free market" ideologues who have long opposed equal funding to public
> >schools...

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