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The Real Problem with School Voucher

Updated: Sep 27, 2018

Good schools / bad schools.

It was extremely frustrated to be stuck in a school zone that was not properly serving the educational needs of my child. I didn’t live in a “bad” area, but I was placed in a school zone with substandard schools. As a matter of fact, I lived five minutes from a good school, but I couldn’t send my child there because it was zoned in a different county. I didn’t have the energy to fight the system, and I couldn’t pick up my house and move it one block over.

So, what did I do? At the time, I worked from home so I homeschooled my son and did so for four years. Most families unfortunately can’t do that. Most parents work outside the home and some just don’t have the patience (and you need a lot of patience) to homeschool.

I would have jumped at the chance years ago to apply for a school voucher. It would have solved MY problem completely. But what about the other children? If my son was bussed to a great school, how could I feel good knowing that hundreds of other children living around me were stuck in low performing schools? I am a mother of one, but I strongly believe that my son’s future is tied to the future of all the kids in his generation—they all need to succeed for him to succeed.

What is the real problem with school vouchers? School vouchers pacify parents who are actively seeking better for their children. They quiet the “squeaky wheel,” but they fail to address the main problem—the school system in America is designed to provide unequal education to maintain the status quo.

We keep debating about whether or not we should offer school vouchers. This repetitive conversation only serves as a smoke screen to keep us from asking the right question. We should be asking why do we have low performing schools in the United States of America. America has access to EVERYTHING on earth so there is absolutely no reason on this planet for any child in this country to have below standard education.

I know more money doesn’t always equal better education, but it seems to mysteriously work out that schools in lower income areas receive less money per student and have lower performing schools. Could it be that we really don’t want equal education for all children?

Every state has their own formula on how funds are dispersed to public schools. However, many states use property taxes as one of the main sources to fund public schools. Under this rule, communities that are impoverished will ALWAYS receive less money and resources, which usually lead to substandard education. So in essence, the poor will stay poor and undereducated. The American educational system is not broken; it is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

This country thrives on a class system—the rich, middle class, and poor. Our educational system is fundamentally designed to be unequal to maintain this system. Period.

Now that we understand the real issue, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to waste time talking about school vouchers? Are we going to continue to look out for our own kids and leave the rest to fend for themselves? Or, are we going to push for real fundamental change that truly provide equal education for all?

Equal funding

Equal professional personnel

Equal support for all public schools

Nadine Johnson


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