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23Re: [art_education] What is your opinion?

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  • Mary Kate
    Aug 7, 2001
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      I look at the voucher plan as finally being able to use the taxes I've been paying for years!  Here in Delaware, private & parochial schools get a minimum of support from the government.  That translates to no bus transportation, no school counsellors, and a school nurse only three days a week.  The parents pay ungodly prices for the bus, no subsidized milk or lunches (parents must pay for it all) & the school has to pay for the counsellor & nurse - raising tuition.  I feel that the vouchers will give more students a chance to attend their preferred school  & help alleviate the sacrifice others are making.  That's right, I said sacrifice.  Many have-nots scrape together what little they have to send their children to the school of their choice!   This will also help with the overcrowding in the public schools & make teaching rather than discipline more of a priority.  As for new schools popping up...if there are students to fill them then they were needed.  We have so many choices today, why can't that also apply to our children's education!  Rather than vouchers, I'd like to see all schools receive the same state & federal funding.  If the schools are producing well-rounded, well-adjusted, well-educated young citizens who cares what religion or philosophy is sponsoring the school!  Notice the huge trend towards home-schooling!  This sends a message to all schools.  "I can't afford the school of my choice & I prefer not to send my child to the local public school".  Something is not right when people elect to do it themselves.  Think of what's lost in the socialization of these home-schooled students.  We need all schools to be able to offer smaller class sizes to meet the needs of the individual child at an affordable price.  I don't know if the voucher plan will help this, but giving people a choice certainly can't hurt! 

      At 8/2/2001 09:38 PM Thursday, you wrote:
      Dear fellow art educators,

      My question today concerns the debate over school
      voucher plans. 

      What are voucher plans?  Just as a refresher, voucher
      plans involve giving parents cash certificates,
      vouchers, or tax credits from public funds to pay to
      send their children to schools of their
      choice--private or public.

      The debate over school vouchers has resurfaced with
      the election of President George W. Bush in an effort
      to improve our educational system.  Supporters
      maintain vouchers will strengthen the education system
      of the United states while those opposed contend that
      the vouchers will destroy the system and disrupt the
      social fabric of the nation. 

      I tend to see both sides of the issue.  Vouchers have
      the potential of reinforcing effective schools while
      encouraging change in those schools that are not as
      effective.  On the other hand, school vouchers also
      have the potential of creating a divide between the
      haves and the have nots which would appear to go
      against the main goal of education: to educate the
      citizenry in order to live productively in a
      democratic society.

      I have participated in debates over this issue with my
      fellow grad school classmates this summer at the
      University of Nebraska at Omaha, and it appears most
      of us tend to be opposed to voucher plans because of
      the possible inequalities they could create.

      I'm very interested in what teachers across the
      country have to say about this issue.  Are you for or
      against voucher plans and why? How do you think
      voucher plans would effect music, drama, and art
      programs in the public schools? Is there another
      alternative you feel that our government should
      consider that would strengthen the education of our

      --DeAnn Hanisch

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