Should Public Funds Be Used to Pay For Private Education?
There is a brewing political and court fight over whether public dollars should be used to pay for school vouchers to help parents pay for private schools. There are valid arguments on both sides.
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, estimates about 212,000 students are using vouchers. The group says that that is us from 36,000 students in 2000.
A number of states (Washington, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia and Louisiana) currently use vouchers. In the state of Washington, the state Supreme Court heard a challenge to the state law which provides vouchers work on average more than $4,000 a year to low-and-middle income families.
Opponents of vouchers say that public school monies are being taken away for public schools and are being given to religious-based private schools which violate the separation of church and state.
Many private schools are exempt from the terms of NCLB and Race for The Top so that their test results do not necessarily indicate improved test scores.