Two More Questions on the Voucher Bill
You may have heard that HB 3398 – the voucher bill – was laid over yesterday. That means the House Appropriations and Budget Committee will hear it today (on the schedule for 11:30). Yesterday, I posted three questions I hope committee members will ask the bill’s sponsors. Today, I pose two more.
- Will this bill really help children in poverty change schools? The numbers don’t lie. Private school education isn’t cheap. A voucher won’t be the tipping point for low-income families. It might help some middle-income families, but not very many. Also, for many of the families in urban areas, additional barriers such as transportation will come into play.
- What can we do to make public schools more attractive to the public? That’s the real issue here. It’s easy to talk about giving parents choices, but law after law limits what parents can choose for their children within public schools. I wrote a post over a year ago titled The School I Choose, which outlines the qualities that I believe most parents want in a school. Generally, I believe public schools provide more of these qualities than private schools do. There are exceptions both on the public and private end, however. I acknowledge that. Some of the missing elements are due to ever-increasing unfunded mandates. That is within the legislature’s control to change.