Letter to the Editor

School vouchers would leave some behind

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

School vouchers and education savings accounts, sold as “freedom of choice,” have proven to help only an elite few while leaving others behind. We cannot allow them in Iowa.

Using tax payer money to give wealthier Iowans discounts for private or home schooling is unacceptable. While school vouchers may pay admission fees, other expenses such as transportation, books and uniforms are not covered. Poorer Iowans will NOT benefit. Private schools also aren’t required to provide accommodations for children with disabilities. Is tax payer funded discrimination based on ability or background acceptable? We already have great public schools in place that uphold the principle that every child deserves a fair and appropriate education, regardless a student’s economic status, skin color, ability or faith. What happens to the children who are left behind? How will they get the resources t hey desperately need if students leave? Pitting one school against another through “school choice” will only take away vital funding to disadvantaged students and hurt our rural communities. If a small town loses its school, it loses its future. We have seen it already happen here and in other states.

There is no pride in taking money away from the schools we worked so hard to build. How can we expect to build our communities, train our workforce and create jobs for the future if there is no one left to put forth effort – to have faith our children? We must send the message that ALL of our children are worthy.

Thank you