Choice facts and the big lie about school vouchers

My news feed brings headlines from all over the nation and a frequent one is “Do school vouchers work?”  Almost invariably, the article is an op-ed by a rich, powerful teachers union boss, explaining why vouchers don’t work. Or, it is an editorial echoing union press releases.

In any case, here is the answer: vouchers work.

They have only one job to do: give poor kids equal opportunity.

All the objections raised against them are smokescreens intended to conceal that fact, because it cannot be refuted.

The chief objection in these articles is a flat-out lie: vouchers “drain money” from the government schools.

Apparently, a great many people do not know how government schools are funded. It is on a per-pupil basis. That is, they are paid a certain amount for each child in a school.

If the child isn’t in the school, they are not paid. Why should this be astounding?

If a more affluent family decides to send their child to a private school, the government school no longer is paid to educate that child, naturally. No one complains.

Nor do the government schools complain about the fact that the family continues to pay taxes that are used to fund the government schools – paying for their own children’s education and everyone else’s child, too.

The union bosses are making the absurd argument that it costs money when more children attend a school and that it also costs more money or the same when fewer children attend.

Vouchers don’t work, opponents say, because some studies suggest that in the short term test scores are not much different for kids in private schools than those in government schools.

Kids don’t attend averages. They attend actual schools – chosen by their parents when they have vouchers.

Vouchers generally go to poor students, usually minorities, trapped in failing government schools.

By definition, a child attending a failed government school could not be any worse off no matter where he went. But why would a parent choose to send him to another failing school? They choose the best they can find.

It is a windfall for taxpayers, because vouchers are for less than the cost of government schools.

Vouchers give poor, minority children a chance to escape failing schools and get an education. Opponents don’t want to let them have that chance. No matter what silly arguments they use, that is the fact.

My news feed brings headlines from all over the nation and a frequent one is “Do school vouchers work?”  Almost invariably, the article is an op-ed by a rich, powerful teachers union boss, explaining why vouchers don’t work. Or, it is an editorial echoing union press releases.

In any case, here is the answer: vouchers work.

They have only one job to do: give poor kids equal opportunity.

All the objections raised against them are smokescreens intended to conceal that fact, because it cannot be refuted.

The chief objection in these articles is a flat-out lie: vouchers “drain money” from the government schools.

Apparently, a great many people do not know how government schools are funded. It is on a per-pupil basis. That is, they are paid a certain amount for each child in a school.

If the child isn’t in the school, they are not paid. Why should this be astounding?

If a more affluent family decides to send their child to a private school, the government school no longer is paid to educate that child, naturally. No one complains.

Nor do the government schools complain about the fact that the family continues to pay taxes that are used to fund the government schools – paying for their own children’s education and everyone else’s child, too.

The union bosses are making the absurd argument that it costs money when more children attend a school and that it also costs more money or the same when fewer children attend.

Vouchers don’t work, opponents say, because some studies suggest that in the short term test scores are not much different for kids in private schools than those in government schools.

Kids don’t attend averages. They attend actual schools – chosen by their parents when they have vouchers.

Vouchers generally go to poor students, usually minorities, trapped in failing government schools.

By definition, a child attending a failed government school could not be any worse off no matter where he went. But why would a parent choose to send him to another failing school? They choose the best they can find.

It is a windfall for taxpayers, because vouchers are for less than the cost of government schools.

Vouchers give poor, minority children a chance to escape failing schools and get an education. Opponents don’t want to let them have that chance. No matter what silly arguments they use, that is the fact.