Vouchers and School Choice - The Use of School Vouchers

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Use of School Vouchers

There has been a lot of debate recently over the use of school vouchers. Voucher programs offer students attending both public and private schools tuition vouchers. It gives taxpayers the freedom to pick where their tax dollars go. In theory, good schools will thrive with money and bad schools will lose students and close its doors. Most people feel that taking taxpayer money from public schools and using this money as vouchers for private schools is a violation of the constitution. Most private schools in America right now are run by religious organizations.

There has been a lot of controversy over this issue mainly because of the importance of an education in a modern society. School choice initiatives are based on the premise that allowing parents to choose what schools their children attend is not only the right thing to do, but is also an important way for improving education. Instead of a one-size-fits-all model, School choice programs offer parents various options from which to pick the educational settings they believe will work best for their child. However, there is

Supporters of school vouchers claim that it levels the educational playing field for lower income families who would have the option to send their kids away from an "ineffective" poorly funded public schools. Some lower class families feel that their kids would have a better chance with a tuition voucher to go to a private school where more money is spent on education.

Many feel that vouchers would undermine public schools, by taking away public money for smaller class sizes, teacher training and innovative curriculum. Also, many feel that vouchers would erode the support for public education. In Milwaukee, voucher schools say they do not give special services to students with disabilities. Most of the voucher schools refused to sign a letter that they will honor constitutional rights such as free speech and due process. The letter stated that the schools would not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, pregnancy, or marital status.

Despite the controversy surrounding vouchers, the private school choice movement may be gaining support. In June of 1999, The Florida legislature approved a plan to give children in the state's worst schools taxpayer-funded tuition payments to attend qualified public, private, or religious schools.
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