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Pros And Cons Of Inner City School Vouchers

1812 words - 7 pages

School vouchers come in several different forms but all are aimed at correcting and leveling the opportunities for children in today’s educational system. Education is the gateway for success in this country for everyone, but even more so if you are poor. Without education, life suddenly seems more bleak and harsh. This opportunity of learning is not shared equally across the board in school districts where young children await instruction about how to properly do math, learn punctuation, and about how the civil war started. But, not all schools are able to teach effectively with such ease. Within the state of Virginia over 90 percent of the schools are labeled “failing” because students are not given adequate opportunities (Cross). What if there was a way for students in a “failing” school or school district to reach beyond that sub-par place of education and enroll into a private or parochial school for the same price? It is possible, in the form of a publicly, state sponsored voucher program. This program would transform the educational process and open new doors for the future of those who could possible run our country in forty years.

        Most states do not have publicly funded state voucher programs, but many have at least one private organization that provides tuition assistance to low-income students interested in a private or parochial school education. In Virginia there is the Children First Virginia Scholarship Fund (Foster). This option receives donations and grants from outside organizations and redistributes the money in the form of vouchers that are meant to allow for low income families to send their kids to private schools, or to go to a better public school in the immediate area (Foster). Privately funded voucher organizations such as this one are only so effective; a state sponsored program would much more effective.

        There are several different options in choosing an effective voucher program that would not hinder the spending on public schools within Virginia. One example is the Universal voucher program. This allows all parents, regardless of their income, where they live or any other criteria, to direct all or part of the funds set aside for education by the government to send their children to a school of choice, whether that school is public, private or religious (School Vouchers). In effect, it separates the government financing of education from the government operation of schools. Sweden and the U.K. both have an educational voucher system in place (School Vouchers). Another form of vouchers is the means tested school voucher program. “Within the United States Cleveland, Milwaukee, and the state of Colorado have this system. The means tested school voucher program enables poor families who meet specific income criteria, typically around 185% of the federal poverty limit, to direct funds set aside for education by the government to pay for all or part of tuition at the public,...

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