The Right To Choose A School
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  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    I quite simply have absolutely no idea why so many Americans go berserk about the possibility of school vouchers.

    Even 25 years ago Québec — as liberal a place as you’ll find anywhere in North America — had a full-fledged universal school voucher system, and it included religious schools.

    The province knew how much it cost to educate a standard student in the government schools. If parents chose a private school, that private school billed the province for the standard amount and the parents for any difference.

    My boys attended an excellent private (religious) high school for five years, and the up-charge was about $600 per year, with the second student at half that amount.

    Nobody ever had the slightest concern about the voucher program … and yes, it DID force the government schools to do better.

  • Both this NYT article and the earlier coverage in the WSJ used background information from The Heartland Institute, yet decided not give it a mention.

    Heartland has been telling legislators across the nation about this significant law. Most other “conservative” think tanks didn’t want to assist because the idea originated on the left (Parent Revolution). Our policy brief advises the addition of a voucher option, and removal of the 2 “turnaround” options, which are merely make-work for needless bureaucrats.

    While GWB, through NCLB, deserves some credit for initiating the concept of flipping failing schools, the fact is that NCLB lacked the proper teeth to gut the system as it deserved.

    Trusting corrupt bureaucracies to improve schools is a failed strategy. It took our friends on the left to basically create the idea of a “card check” for parents, thus exposing the existing “district- based system for the fraud that it is.

    Heartland was nearly alone among think tanks to see the power of this strategy. Vouchers, charters, digital learning and tuition tax credits are the “bullets.” The parent trigger is the gun.

    Call your legislator to file a trigger bill in your state. Call me if you want help.

  • I know the political rationale behind it, but does anyone else find it troubling that you have to wait until after a school is declared failing before you can move your kids out of it?

    School bureaucracies succeed because they can run out the clock against the troublemaking parents. At some point, diligent parents have to decide whether to keep their kids in the system while pushing for improvements, or to pull out entirely and leave the bureaucracy untouched. Guess who wins every time?

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