Heresy: why I support school vouchers

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Mon Aug 2 09:17:25 MDT 1999

Jose wrote:
>I do not AT ALL support the specific voucher plans being put forward by
>varied and sundry right wingers.

Voucher plans won't give good education to the poor of whatever color. With
a limited voucher plan of the kind that is proposed by politicians, only a
tiny minority of the poor may be able to switch to somewhat better private
schools, with the rest of poor kids worse off due to further pressures upon
public funding and "brain drain." With a sort of universal voucher plan
that you advocate, the poor will go to *poor private schools*, instead of
going to poor public schools. (It will work like US health care, so the
market will ration education.) Where is the advance (unless you are arguing
that poor private schools will be better run than poor public schools)?

>Second, it is a continuation of the drive for "community control" or "parent
>control" of education. It is aimed against what comes across to parents as
>the state's one-size-fits-all school system, although in reality as I have
>pointed out the state operates different KINDS of systems depending on the
>student population.

It seems to me that USA doesn't have a "one-size-fits-all" school system.
I'd say that the existing system suffers from very unequal funding *and* a
high degree of decentralization (both in management and curricula). There
is an incredible number of school boards (which often merely serve as
stepping stones for those with local political ambitions).


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