Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The solution: School vouchers

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Daily Southtown Newspaper.

Letter to the Editor: The solution: School vouchers


By Timothy A. Van Eck, South Holland

Phil Kadner's column (Aug. 15) contends that the educational system in Illinois for some of the poorer districts is analogous to "a plane with an incompetent pilot at the controls."

His analogy is a ringing endorsement for school vouchers.

After deregulation, the airlines had to compete. Fares went down; service went up. New airlines began to compete with the established airlines and gave the passengers economic power they lacked before.

The same rang true for the telephone companies. We are no longer impressed when someone receives or makes a long-distance telephone call.

Once government got out of the way, costs were reduced and better service was demanded. The same can be done with the schools. Let the money follow the child, and let the schools compete for each student. Schools currently cannot succeed because their focus over the past 20 years has been on indoctrinating political correctness into the children, not on education.

One problem with the analogy is that with an airplane, there is a known destination. With the current educational system, we do not know where the children will end up.

According to Dr. Bruce Shortt, "If we have our children in public schools, the public school is indeed our children's teacher and, effectively, their parent. The federal courts agree. In Fields v. Palmdale, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals candidly stated that public-school parents ' ... have no constitutional right ... to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.' "

This is a main reason why a faction in the Southern Baptist church has repeatedly, with an ever increasingly favorable vote, tried to pass a resolution at its conventions to remove its members' students from the public schools.

If that resolution passes, the question then will be: Will Sen. Meeks continue to pursue his political agenda, or will Rev. Meeks follow the dictates of his denomination and abandon the public education platform that has given him so much media attention?

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