Say Yes to Vouchers (!)

May 20, 2007


by Tammy Drennan

First, of course, parents make adjustments in spending priorities and lifestyles, so they can pay as much as possible on their own. Many will find that some form of independent education is entirely affordable and that investing in their children is far more gratifying than investing in houses and cars. But there will still be those who struggle and cannot reasonably afford independent options. These people need and deserve help.

The answer is quite simple — private vouchers, also known as scholarships. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars in private donations now flow into public schools, all to little effect. Why not redirect that money to efforts that would make a real difference — in both excellence and independence? We have the means. We have the ability. Do we have the will?

This is the question we must ask ourselves. Do we have the will? Are we prepared to take back our children?  Millions of children are waiting for an answer — will the grown-ups come to their rescue or will they hold out for the money? Will Daddy and Mommy, Uncle and Aunty, Pastor and Neighbor stand up and shout “Enough!” or will they stand up and shout “We pay taxes!”

Independent, excellent education is ours for the taking. We have it within our power right now to provide it not only for our own children but for all children. We don’t need the state and we shouldn’t want it. Education does not belong in the hands of government. Education belongs to the people, and it’s high time we take it back.  The current battle over government vouchers rages and will continue to rage — in the schools and the union offices and the courts and the newspapers. That has nothing to do with us. Just as the parents of eight million children have already ignored the state’s grab for their children’s minds and have chosen independence, so we can make independence an option for all.

Now is the time to ask yourself how you can help those who need a hand in choosing freedom in education. If you are a person of only moderate means, help in a small way — help one child, help one school, ask your friends to join you in sponsoring a child. If you have more, give more. If you have much, invest in a real future and stop throwing your money away on things that don’t work. If you’re a leader, take a look at your priorities and what you have to offer those you serve. If you have no money to give, give encouragement or time. Education belongs to us. It is our right and our responsibility. Just as we look out for our neighbors’ safety and property, just as we lend a helping hand when a relative is ill or a friend in need, so we must extend our willing charity to the future of all of our children. We must empower others as we wish to be empowered. Freedom not shared is freedom lost.

Who will take the first step? 

The single biggest argument against getting the state out of our children’s minds, emotions and morals is that minus tax-funded schooling, so many would have to go without education altogether. That’s where vouchers come in, but first…