Sunday, December 03, 2006

Editorial: Deeper issues in school vouchers

From the editors of the La Porte (Indiana) Herald-Argus. -Angela
Sometimes an idea that sounds good is promoted for the wrong reason.

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept a case involving the legality of a Maine law that prohibits using state funds to send kids to a parochial school.

Maine has 145 school districts with no high schools. Parents of 17,000 students have the choice of sending their children to any school anywhere, public or private, with tuition paid by state voucher. But state law -- supported last April by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court -- says public funds may not be used for religious schools.

The Institute for Justice, a conservative group, brought the case on behalf of eight families affected by the law.

There is an issue here that goes beyond separation of church and state.

School vouchers are supported by the Bush administration and by many conservatives. While providing more options for some parents, the underlying philosophy behind the system is flawed. Bush and others regard school vouchers as a way to escape inner-city schools plagued by violence and deteriorating buildings.

But providing the means for a few to flee those schools is not the answer. Funds for vouchers could be going toward a much-needed overhaul of such beleaguered schools. Considering that a whole population of children remains at those woefully sub-par schools, efforts should be focused on providing a safe environment and effective teaching for an education that has been guaranteed for children since the earliest days on this country.

To be optimally successful, providing school renovations, safety measures and certified teachers needs to be in tandem with a wider philosophy of nurturing and supporting the communities and families with at-risk children and schools. A move toward drug rehab and away from prison sentences for addicts would strengthen families; preventative programs would provide support for kids and parents struggling to move beyond the limited horizons of urban decay and violence. Education can truly become the hope for the future.

How ironic that it is a group called the Institute of Justice that sought to bring the school voucher case for eight families before the U.S. Supreme Court. What about justice for all schoolchildren?

1 comment:

  1. I recently published an article on drug rehab – here is a quote from it, in case you are interested:

    Here are some alternatives you should think of:
    Free standing inpatient drug rehab program – short term program for less severe addictions;
    Inpatient drug rehab program – rehabilitation unit – for severe mental and physical disabilities;
    Inpatient drug rehab program – detoxification unit – in general this program takes place on an outpatient basis, but sometimes withdrawal from either drugs or alcohol presupposes extreme measures to prevent relapse. It is important to help patients to change their old habits, and this may happen only through a longer-term disruption from the environment where everything remembers them of the urge to return to the substance of their addiction;
    Long term residential drug rehab program – is important for those who would relapse easily (youth, chronic addicts, patients with more than one diagnosis etc.).

    If you feel this helps, please drop by my website for additional information, such as drug addiction rehab information or additional resources on free drug rehab .


    Mike R.