The late Rep. Lakly rightly favored school vouchers

Tue, 11/04/2008 - 4:54pm
By: Letters to the ...

I knew Dan Lakly for over 10 years and have praised Dan in private and in public. While we did have a few disagreements, one thing Dan and I strongly supported was the “Choice in Education” movement, “Olympic quality education for America’s kids at low, low Wal-Mart prices.”

In fact, shortly before Dan’s untimely death, I met him at our PTC VFW meeting and we discussed his efforts to push through the Georgia legislature a model taxpayer-paid voucher program so that all Georgia’s parents could send their kids to K-12 schools which fit their kids’ needs.

Now I read a letter from Dan’s wife, Donna, stating that vouchers are not the answer.

Respectfully, Donna, would you and other NEA and AFT [supporters] please answer the following question?

If you had the power and and money to send a child to a nurturing, academically superior (K-12) private or parochial school for $5,000 per child per year using taxpayer-funded vouchers or to send that same child to a violent, academically inferior government public school for $10,000 per child per year using taxpayer-funded vouchers, to which school would you allow the parents to send their child?

“Send that child to the violent, academically inferior government public school” said the leadership of the Democratic Party, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, NAACP, Senator Barack Hussein Obama, Saxby Chambliss, Zell Miller, Gov. Sonny Perdue, etc.

Donna, do you think a question like that has never come up in real life?

Well, it has. Many times. Most recently, in 2004, 2,000 education vouchers — worth up to $7,500 per year — were made available to parents of kids in the District of Columbia to send their kids to nurturing (K-12) private or parochial schools. Over 20,000 families applied for the 2,000 vouchers before no more applications were accepted.

Four years later? Outstanding success for the 2,000 kids who were able to escape the noxious D.C. government public school system, which is rewarded for failure.

Don’t believe me? Google “Safer Kids, Better Test Scores: The DC Voucher Program Works,” by Shanea Watkins of the Heritage Foundation.

DC voucher parents are happy, DC voucher kids are happy, American taxpayers are happy, but Donna is not happy?

Even anti-voucher Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue seems to be changing his mind.

Donna, why don’t you join the side of kids, parents and taxpayers? Just think: What would Dan do?

Bill Bryan

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by kathryne lee on Fri, 11/07/2008 - 8:05am.

At least a couple of people get it!

Submitted by clarencemasterson on Wed, 11/05/2008 - 11:39pm.

Yes Donna - how dare you have your own opinion!

There's no doubt that vouchers help SOME students - mostly those who could afford private school anyway but get their costs defrayed by taxpayers. They do not, however, help public schools. If your goal is to eliminate public education, you are free to your opinion. Otherwise sticking to policies that improve public education are preferable to helping rich kids pay for religious school (schools that are accountable to no one, I might add) with tax dollars.

Here are a few academic studies - you can cherry-pick either side of this issue. It is not as cut and dry as you'd like to pretend:

And here's the Washington Post:

Submitted by loanarranger707 on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 12:57pm.

Dan Lakly was catholic. Catholics have their own schools, so they can teach religion. Vouchers help support their schools and end up supporting their religion. Most catholics thus support school vouchers.

Beyond their mission of indoctrinating the young, private schools are selective and often take the cream of the crop among students, leaving the less talented students, or those with problems (mental, physical, or otherwise) for the public schools to cope with. The private schools' selectivity ends up "dumbing down" the public schools, which is harmful to our society.

On top of that, we know that "private academies" were formed in the South for the purpose of thwarting racial integration in schools. Providing vouchers to support racial segregation is antisocial.

The real solution is to fix the public schools, and that's what the No Child Left Behind law is all about. Vouchers are not the solution. The motives of those who support vouchers are well known.

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