Two things happened this past week that make the most powerful case ever for school vouchers.
First, the Department of Education’s lunatic ruling that public schools will soon have to allow transgender bathrooms and shower facilities. Bring back the dunce cap for whomever thought this one up.
Many parents around the country are so infuriated by this ruling that they see no other alternative than to pull their sons and daughters out of the public schools. The Obama ruling applies only to public institutions, which means private schools can still keep boys out of the girl’s locker rooms.
The second alarming event was the announcement on Tuesday that segregation in public schools is getting worse, not better. The study by the Government Accountability Office that the percentage of schools with “racial or socioeconomic isolation” has nearly doubled (from 9 to 16 percent) between 2001 and 2014. These segregated schools tend to perform worse. As Democratic Rep. John Conyers put it: “There can be no excuse for allowing educational apartheid in the 21st century.”
We have recreated an education system that is separate and unequal with the poor stuck in the worst inner city schools. Inadequate spending is not the problem. Cities with some of the worst government-run schools in the country – places like Chicago and Washington, D.C. – spend $15,000 to $20,000 per student. Many catholic schools in these cities spend one-third to one-half less, and get much better results.
The obvious, and perhaps the only solution, is school vouchers. Free the children! This will allow the poorest kids to go to superior public, private, or religious schools that perform better academically. We know in Washington, DC, where voucher programs already exist, voucher kids are more likely to graduate and go on to college than those stuck in the public schools.
One thing is certain. The unions hate vouchers because it means fewer jobs and union dues for the labor bosses. But who are the schools for? The teachers or the kids?
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