School Vouchers for Private Education

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For the past few years, there’s been much controversy over whether sending your child to a public or private school is better. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, believes that private and charter schools are more beneficial. This means we might be seeing more of them in the future. If public schools were to become private, families whose children attend public schools will receive a voucher containing a certain amount of money that would go towards a private education. While this seems like a plausible idea, there are a few downsides that might greatly impact some of these families. Here are some of the pros and cons of turning public schools private.

 

Pros

  1. Parents would have the option of choosing which school to send their children to. With the voucher system, families would be able to use the voucher towards any school’s tuition whether it be more expensive or less expensive than the amount given on the voucher. This plan might even encourage lower-performing schools to better their quality of education when they see students opting for higher-performing schools.
  2. The school vouchers would allow lower-income families to send their children to private school. Nowadays we view private schools as a place for only wealthy people to receive an education, but with the voucher system, low income families would be able to pay less to send their children to these private schools. Private schools generally offer a better education as opposed to public schools and everyone would be given the chance to attend one.

 

Cons

  1. School vouchers could violate the separation between church and state. Private schools often make religion courses mandatory which some families may be in favor of, but others who don’t practice a religion or don’t practice the same one private schools teach will feel that their children are being forced to learn something they don’t believe in. Public schools allow children to keep their religious beliefs separate from their education.
  2. The voucher program wouldn’t work for every family. Families who receive a lower income would have the choice to send their children to a private school, but what if they can’t even afford the cheaper ones? There is a finite number of private schools that offer a good education while offering families a fair price. Low income families will be forced to send their children to a lower-performing school, which may not even be anywhere near their home.

 

Many educators and politicians are discussing the effectiveness of making the majority of schools private, but the decision probably won’t be made for years to come. There are many aspects of the system that they have to consider while trying to keep most families happy and in a good financial state. MHS senior Sydney Strelec said, “If all schools went private, then it would essentially be a public school because everyone needs to go to school and that means it would be hard to regulate anything.” Hopefully, in the future there will be a system for bettering education while making it affordable for all families.

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