I am a big opponent of private school vouchers for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the dishonesty and mendacity of many of the supporters who are more interested in helping Christian schools and harming government programs than in actually educating people.
But the primary reason is that I truly believe in public oversight of public funds, and when public funds are diverted to private schools there is no longer oversight. People pay taxes to support educating young people to become productive members of society, and then their taxes are used to support schools that may be teaching things they oppose. And there’s no way to stop it — no elections, no public meetings, no PTA, no nothing. The private school gets public funds and no public oversight.
But I am not against school choice, or competition as a good thing in government. In fact, giving parents more choice in where and how their kids are educated is a damned good thing.
Which is why this bill to allow students to attend public schools in other districts is a good start. There are issues with how this is funded, how many students each district has to take, what parameters districts will use to select students to accept, etc. It’s a difficult process, but a good and necessary one.
And it will blunt the obvious intention of the Christie administration to implement private school choice and damage public education and the teacher’s union. That’s a good thing.