DETAILS
Should families have the option to receive a school choice voucher?

School choice vouchers, a program that allows parents to use taxpayer money to fund their child’s education at a private school, has been an issue at the forefront of education policy since its inception in 1998. The appointment of Betsy DeVos as United States Secretary of Education, an avid supporter of school choice vouchers, has increased the attention on the controversial program.

Opponents of school choice vouchers highlight the negative effects vouchers can have on traditional public schools. It is also argued that vouchers erode the separation of church and state, when families use government funds to pay for religious schools.

Supporters of vouchers argue that as tax payers, parents should have the ability to utilize the money that would be used on their child in the public school to attend a private school. Many in this camp also believe that school choice vouchers encourage the development of a marketplace of schools with a wide variety of options for parents and children to choose from.

So, what do you think? Should families have the option to receive a School Choice Voucher?

Current Standings:
Yes: 57%
No: 43%
  • Brandon from Texas

    The program for school vouchers allows for parents to provide the best education for their child, while upholding the First Amendment as well. Opponents of school vouchers will often invoke the First Amendment as a defense against vouchers, claiming that they violate the First Amendment and the separation of church and state. However, the case of ZELMAN V. SIMMONS-HARRIS in 2002, decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, says otherwise. In this case, an Ohio school choice program was put into question. As the Supreme Court opinion wrote in the 5-4 decision,

    “In sum, the Ohio program is entirely neutral with respect to religion. It provides benefits directly to a wide spectrum of individuals, defined only by financial need and residence in a particular school district. It permits such individuals to exercise genuine choice among options public and private, secular and religious. The program is therefore a program of true private choice. In keeping with an unbroken line of decisions rejecting challenges to similar programs, we hold that the program does not offend the Establishment Clause.”

    In fact, the idea of separation of church and state isn’t even found within the Constitution. The idea was first penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, when he stated,

    “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    As former Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist wrote,

    “unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson’s misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years.”

    The separation of church and state is not within the Constitution. Rather, the idea within the First Amendment was to prevent suppression of religion or favoritism of one religion above others. The intent was equal treatment for religion and secular ideas.

    Allowing school choice allows for the free exercise of religion without discrimination. A lack of school choice would be discriminating against religious institutions and would violate the principle of the First Amendment. Therefore, I support school choice vouchers from a constitutional basis.

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    The program for school vouchers allows for parents to provide the best education for their child, while upholding the First Amendment as well. Opponen…

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    • Joshua from Pennsylvania

      Joseph, I would like to reply to your comment about original intent. Your reasoning would be sound if we were forced to speculate about the original intent of the Founders—however, we do not. They left us enough resources that we can sufficiently discern their intent.

      In fact, original intent for the Establishment Clause was actually not at all to disassociate government from religion—far from it! If you read, for example, the debate in the North Carolina ratifying convention (1), you find such statements as this: “The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic. They suppose that if there be no religious test required, pagans, deists, and Mahometans [Muslims] might obtain offices among us, and that the senators and representatives might all be pagans.”
      The chief concern of the Founders was not, as some suppose, that the government would be too religious—quite the contrary! Listen to this: “Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President, or other high office, but in one of two cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves.” The Founders WANTED a Christian government!

      The establishment clause was included so that no one denomination of Christianity would be established, and then persecute the others.
      “The people of Massachusetts and Connecticut are mostly Presbyterians… In Rhode Island, the tenets of the Baptists… In New York, they are divided very much: the most numerous are the Episcopalians and the Baptists… In Pennsylvania, if any sect prevails more than others, it is that of the Quakers. In Maryland, the Episcopalians are most numerous, though there are other sects… I hope, therefore, that gentlemen will see there is no cause of fear that any one religion shall be exclusively established.”

      A serious examination of such debates and documents soon shows that what the Founders meant by religion was actually Christian denomination. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t include atheism, Islam and other religions inside of that freedom (“Mr. Spencer was an advocate for securing every unalienable right, and that of worshipping God according to the dictates of conscience in particular.”), but it does mean that their original intent was not that government would have no religious influences. To the contrary, they had great fears about America laying aside Christianity. What it was intended to do was prevent persecution of any one denomination by another.

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      Joseph, I would like to reply to your comment about original intent. Your reasoning would be sound if we were forced to speculate about the original i…

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      The separation of Church and state is a mis conception in the first place. The 1st amendment means , for example, that congress cannot stop me and my fellow Christians from worshiping.
      They cannot prohibit the press, or free speech either

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      The separation of Church and state is a mis conception in the first place. The 1st amendment means , for example, that congress cannot stop me and my…

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      There are several problems with the vouchers.
      1. Supporting a voucher is the government giving people money. Soon, the people ask for a little more, and a little more, and they soon feel obligated to the money. This is a fact. That is the problem with vouchers. People soon feel obligated to get them, which isn’t good.
      2. Because they feel obligated to the money, they stop working as hard for money, some stop working altogether. People need to WORK for their money. WORK.
      3. The Moral reason is that it promotes greed. People who get government handout never say “OK, that’s enough.” They say,”how much MORE can you give me?”

      Because of the promotion of obligation, greed, and laziness, we should therefore not support the voucher program. Our government, even the supreme court, may support it, but that does not mean it’s right. God and his word ultimately contain the final rule, and they say greed and laziness are morally wrong. That is the final rule.

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      There are several problems with the vouchers.
      1. Supporting a voucher is the government giving people money. Soon, the people ask for a little mor…

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    • Joseph from California

      Your analysis on the First Amendment seems to be inconsistent with the original intent of the Establishment Clause. The First Amendment was aimed to disentangle government from religion completely. It was not created for equal treatment for religion and secular ideas. The Founders fled from Britain; a monarchy that was instituted on the basis of religion. It would logically follow, therefore, that such men would invoke the idea of separation of church and state in the Constitution because of their past experiences.

      Regarding your comment on the SCOTUS cases of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris; have you heard of the case that preceded this one known as Lemon vs. Kurztman? I counters the one you provided.

      Furthermore, the Constitution says nothing about school choice. Even if it did, you ought to invoke the 10th Amendment, not the 1st.

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      Your analysis on the First Amendment seems to be inconsistent with the original intent of the Establishment Clause. The First Amendment was aimed to d…

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  • Hudson from Virginia

    sure, why not. in my opinion, the taxpayer has to pay money so they should be able to choose the best education for their children. why get ice cream but not get a choice of flavor? see my point.

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    sure, why not. in my opinion, the taxpayer has to pay money so they should be able to choose the best education for their children. why get ice cream …

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      that is true, I am a fan of school choice myself, but when you go to the ice cream man, do you pay for it, or does he just give it to you for free? At some special occasions, it may be free, but it normally costs money.

      School is no different. We should be able to chose our schools, but then we should pay for it. At occasions where it’s location is being used, someone else pays (Just like the ice cream man pays for the free ice cream) and then it may be free for you.

      But on normal occasions, you have to pay for those. And I explain in my rebuttal to Brandon from Texas and in my own response how there are problems with the school voucher program. Morally and constitutionally, it is not right.

      Remember, just cause it’s free for you, does not mean it is free for everyone. Someone (And in the voucher case, your fellow man or taxpayer) is always paying for YOU.

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      that is true, I am a fan of school choice myself, but when you go to the ice cream man, do you pay for it, or does he just give it to you for free? A…

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  • Jack from New York

    School Choice Vouchers allow people to break the cycle of poverty in certain areas. This is because people can now afford to send their children to a possibly better non-public school. This will create a rise in private and charter school education, which will put less strain on the education system, which will exponentially help the small number who choose to stay in public school. With all of these people leaving public education, we allow the money in public education to stretch farther. This will correct the public education system and then we will slowly phase out the vouchers and reintegrate communities back into the public education system. This will create a short term deficit in public school users, but then a long term rise in them because we used that “calm before the storm” of enrolees to revamp and improve the public education system.

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    School Choice Vouchers allow people to break the cycle of poverty in certain areas. This is because people can now afford to send their children to a …

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  • Catherine from Virginia

    Parents are able to choose if their children go to a private or religious school, and they should always be able to. I think that if they don’t want their children going to public school they should be able to use the money given from public school on another school.

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    Parents are able to choose if their children go to a private or religious school, and they should always be able to. I think that if they don’t want t…

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      But re-routing the money would create a sense of obligation.
      A sense of obligation isn’t good because it makes people want more.

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  • Emma from Virginia

    I believe that vouchers are acceptable. There have many pros, and almost just as many cons. But, for students with special needs, it is best if they are treated in a private school, or a special school so that teachers can focus on them and help them. This should help the student(s) more. Also, the federal government gives you money to spend on schools. So, technically this is your money. And YOU should be able to decide how to use it. If a family wants a private school or a religious school instead of a public school, then it is their choice. I mean, of course it has its cons; some people say it violates the first amendment, and plenty more, I’m sure, but really, it has more pros than cons. You should let people use vouchers.

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    I believe that vouchers are acceptable. There have many pros, and almost just as many cons. But, for students with special needs, it is best if they a…

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      1. One of your con’s is the conflict with the welfare of School Vouchers and the Constitution of the United States of America. Even though the government helps with some of the money on education, the voucher (Full free education) goes against the preamble of the Constitution. The government is to PROMOTE the general welfare, NOT provide the general welfare. And education is NOT a guaranteed right by the constitution.

      2. There is also no such thing as a true school voucher. You pay taxes and those taxes go to the state, which in turn would provide the voucher. Nothing new, except that the government officials potentially get more money, and that you are still paying taxes.

      3. You could possible argue for it under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, but that is somewhat of a stretch.

      4. What are your “pro’s” I cannot see you directly addressing them. All that is addressed is that the government is paying for school for you, using your own tax money. (And other peoples come to think of it).

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      1. One of your con’s is the conflict with the welfare of School Vouchers and the Constitution of the United States of America. Even though the govern…

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  • Joshua from Wisconsin

    Having the option of school choice vouchers creates the potential to improve education in a few different ways. Probably the most obvious benefit that school choice seems to have is that it puts key education decisions in the hands of the parents, not the local public education system. This should allow the parents to have more choices in what school and learning environment they want to send their children to. A parent is almost always going to know more about their child and their needs than any outsider, so it makes more sense to put more control in the parents’, not local or state governments’ hands. For example, if parents think that their child is gifted enough, or if they have the extra time to help them, school vouchers might allow them access to a more rigorous private education that can help their child reach higher levels of success. In the same way, if their child is struggling, the parents could also opt to choose a private school that is more structured than public options, potentially giving the child the environment they need to succeed. Having school choice vouchers would help shift more of the decision making to parents by giving them access to other options they may have not financially been able to pursue otherwise.
    School choice vouchers would also further expose public education to the efficiency and benefits inherent to the free market. Since vouchers would increase options for many, schools, public and private alike, would have to compete for the attendance of students. This means that they would be forced to strive to provide the best possible education they can to their students, lest they lost attendance and therefore income. This would lead to more efficient spending where funding would be used to maximize the quality of education students would be receiving. This also provides heavy incentive for school systems to favor quality teachers, not older teachers that the seniority systems plaguing many public school systems dictates. School choice has the potential to create a system where students must be put first, something that could greatly improve the educational outcomes for many.

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    Having the option of school choice vouchers creates the potential to improve education in a few different ways. Probably the most obvious benefit that…

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  • Teagan from Virginia

    This question has really brought me to a fork in the road, while I agree with both sides I can not come up with a conclusion. So I propose a Compromise, maybe we could give the power to the counties, states, or schools to decide whether its citizens should receive a Voucher. Since there is not an option to vote for a Compromise I have voted randomly for Yes. I welcome anyone to either disagree or build off of my opinion

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    This question has really brought me to a fork in the road, while I agree with both sides I can not come up with a conclusion. So I propose a Compromis…

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  • Brandon from Texas

    School choice should be an opportunity for low income parents to have their children go to a private school.

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  • Draven from Wisconsin

    I think the voucher program is great. It allows parents to fund schools they actually care about. Although separation of church and state is a legitimate issue, it was deemed constitutional. And for me personally, it is more of a concern regarding the quality of education. By adopting a voucher program, it creates incentives for public schools to make sure they are offering competitive education programs to private schools. Because in general, private schools offer higher quality education. By putting the power in the hands of parents with voucher programs, it makes schools actually care about improving their curriculum because they are no longer subsidized and maintain only minimum standards. As a resident and student in a voucher program state, I have been able to attend a school that is not in my district that I feel offers a better education than my local district school and I have seen great success thus far.

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    I think the voucher program is great. It allows parents to fund schools they actually care about. Although separation of church and state is a legitim…

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  • Ruth from Wisconsin

    Each family must decide for themselves where they wish to have their child/children educated. Tge families must determine which school is best for each child, for not every place is optimal for every student. The cost of a school should not be the preventing factor in attending the most ideal for the student. School vouchers can help lower the cost on the families. While some argue that state money could be involved in religion through the use of school vouchers to attend religious schools, the government is not making that decision. Individual families decide where to allocate that money, not the government.

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    Each family must decide for themselves where they wish to have their child/children educated. Tge families must determine which school is best for eac…

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  • Joe from Wisconsin

    I do believe that school voucher programs are a very important institution for education as well as reinforcing the equal protection that is promised by the 14th amendment. The problem rises because in most cases the best sources of education (specifically those for high school and junior high) are located in suburban areas where residents tend to be wealthier while urban and inner-city residents are often considerably less wealthy while also having limited access to these better sources of education. The result of this situation is that those who are raised in urban areas are less likely to receive a better education and eventually obtain a better job because their families cannot afford to seek out alternative sources of education and so they resort to the cheaper urban housing and raise a family in that setting where their children are likely doomed to the same fate. School voucher programs offer a way out and allow less wealthy urban residents to gain access to better sources of education and escape the seemingly repeating cycle.

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    I do believe that school voucher programs are a very important institution for education as well as reinforcing the equal protection that is promised …

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  • Natasha from Wisconsin

    In my state, students are allowed to go to any school they wish, even if they live out of that school’s district. The issue here is that there is a presented entanglement of church and state through federal funding of students to attend secular schools. The SCOTUS case of Lemon v. Kurtzman ruled that federal money cannot be used to supplement a teacher’s salary or textbooks. It does not mention the tuition of students who opt to attend that school. Now, if a student is unable to afford tuition for a secular school, the federal government should be able to pay their tuition to allow that child to go to their school of choice. The government does not play any excessive role in religion in this case, they are not supporting it, and they are not opposing it either. I believe that the federal government should be able to pay for school vouchers because it benefits children who want to attend a secular school and can still do so even if they cannot afford it.

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    In my state, students are allowed to go to any school they wish, even if they live out of that school’s district. The issue here is that there is a pr…

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  • Jessica from Georgia

    Many parents are unable to afford to send their students to a private school this causes families with lower incomes to continue to have lower incomes continuously causing the income gap to continue. By giving families vouchers. Parents will be able to help provide the best education for their students and furthermore encourage schools to perform better by possibly attaching benefits to schools who have more voucher students. This would show which schools were performing best with less reliance on standardized test which many believe are not good representations of student and school performances.

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    Many parents are unable to afford to send their students to a private school this causes families with lower incomes to continue to have lower incomes…

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  • Megan from Virginia

    I think that we need to have a choice for our kids. Even though we already have enough choices to make already whats one more. Any way, I think we should have a choice for the vouchers. If you are having a hard time with this like under standing it then here is an example. If you go to a restartaunt and you want pizza. So you want pizza and uou don’t get to choise the toppng. That is unfair.

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    I think that we need to have a choice for our kids. Even though we already have enough choices to make already whats one more. Any way, I think we sho…

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  • Evan from Missouri

    Public Education is not necessarily protected under the Constitution. However, as a universal human right, students and parents should be able to choose the best education for their future. In larger areas where there is not simply one school per county, but many. A parent should have the right to choose which school their child attends. Affirmative action has definitely been a huge influence into why this is a hot topic. This action has caused a favoritism for diversity in a school. This is not necessarily wrong, but can take kids away from a school that is close to home, or make kids who may not do well in bigger schools forced to go there. Its a discrimination that has been overlooked and is thus unconstitutional according to the Courts interpretation and not the document itself. There is the other side to this that only the rich or people of influence will get their kids into the good schools. For the most part this has a firm footing. There is not much refute of which one can give to this other than school choice must not be based on money, but by student talent and student need rather than student race. If we truly are a society of equals, then we must be treated as such and by our ability measured, not from the backgrounds we have inherited.

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    Public Education is not necessarily protected under the Constitution. However, as a universal human right, students and parents should be able to choo…

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  • Braden from South Carolina

    Parents deserve the choice to put their children in an environment that is right for each individual. They shouldn’t have to support other environments if they aren’t using them in the slightest

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    Parents deserve the choice to put their children in an environment that is right for each individual. They shouldn’t have to support other environment…

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  • Nathan from Ohio

    We all Make sure that this is the country our kids should live in

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  • Noah from Utah

    Common Core restricts gifted or intelligent students, leaving them behind with the lowest common denominator. Private Schools may offer a different curriculum, laddering, or another solution. This means that the naturally gifted people in the population can discover their talent and rise up to benefit the world. It gives people a choice.

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    Common Core restricts gifted or intelligent students, leaving them behind with the lowest common denominator. Private Schools may offer a different cu…

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  • Mei from New York

    Even though I go to a public and I support public schools, that doesn’t mean that I have to be against school choice, as they are not mutually exclusive. I had recently only learned this, but NYC has one of the most segregated public school systems in the country, and this is primarily due to segregated neighborhoods. For those who argue that it is the poorer communities who will be negatively harmed, that is the very reason why school choice should be an option. Poorer communities will inherently receive less funding, and that is something wrong with the public education system. In the scenario where there is no school choice whatsoever, the school nearby is virtually the only school a student is able to attend. However, with school choice, that gives a family an additional option for them to make the decision of which school will be the most beneficial for their children; school choice allows a child to be able to receive an education and an option that would otherwise be unfeasible. It is the better scenario for both systems to exist, and so I affirm that families should have the option of school choice.

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    Even though I go to a public and I support public schools, that doesn’t mean that I have to be against school choice, as they are not mutually exclusi…

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  • elizabeth from Texas

    because it will tell the parents about the school

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  • Rebecca from Texas

    I believe that if the school system is failing or otherwise not cutting it for the child or children (like in the case of my older brother who got into trouble out of boredom stemming from the courses not being rigorous enough for him and him alone), the parents should have some means to move the child/children to a better school/school district. After all, it’ the job of the parents to do what they believe is best for their kids. It has the added benefit to get the school districts that are failing an incentive to do better to stay operational, thus making the entire national education better.

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    I believe that if the school system is failing or otherwise not cutting it for the child or children (like in the case of my older brother who got int…

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  • Colin from New Jersey

    The public school system is paid for by everyone who is paying taxes in the district. If someone decided to send their children to a private school, the family would be paying for two educations for the children. This would set back the family heavily financially. The voucher program was placed to attempt to offset the expenses of sending the kids to a private school and still paying for a public school education.
    Those vouchers are there to make sure the family is not making sacrifices to send the kid to the school that affect the kids majorly. My parents would rather forfeit a meal a day and send me to private school, than send me to public school.

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    The public school system is paid for by everyone who is paying taxes in the district. If someone decided to send their children to a private school, …

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  • Zackery from Vermont

    If tax payers are supposed to fund liberal arts college tuition fees, why not fund k-12 education as well? besides the point, I have personally used vouchers to go as far from my high school as possible, and it did wonders for my social development, and it would sadden me greatly if in the future other young people did not have that same chance.

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    If tax payers are supposed to fund liberal arts college tuition fees, why not fund k-12 education as well? besides the point, I have personally used v…

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  • Dylan from Iowa

    Let’s admit it: the public school system kind of of sucks. There’s a reason many families will pay top dollar for their children to get a private education. They simply provide a better education Private schools are free from government regulation. They can educate the way they feel is best. Why not let educators decide how to educate?
    If the the government is going to fund schooling, why not let parents decide what’s best for their children? Giving parents the option to choose will diversify the market, creating better education overall. The more schools have to compete to provide the best education, the better education will become. Let the funding follow the student, and let parents decide what’s best for their kids. After all, isn’t better education for everyone something we can all agree on?

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    Let’s admit it: the public school system kind of of sucks. There’s a reason many families will pay top dollar for their children to get a private educ…

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  • Rachel from Texas

    Yes! People are humans, and families need to be a part in a child’s school life because that really matters and it’s so important. Families have every right to receive the school choice voucher.

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    Yes! People are humans, and families need to be a part in a child’s school life because that really matters and it’s so important. Families have every…

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  • Gabrielle from Pennsylvania

    Our family pays high public school taxes yearly. We believe that the many families in our local school district who are successfully participating in homeschools and private schools should also receive a portion of this money to pay for their needed academic expenses.

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    Our family pays high public school taxes yearly. We believe that the many families in our local school district who are successfully participating in …

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  • Rosalia from Ohio

    I think that parents should be able to choose where their children attend school.
    From the standpoint of a student, I feel this way because I know that, on average, private schools provide a better education. Kids in private school tend to have education more tailored to their needs, and various studies have suggested, if not proven, that catered learning is successful learning. From a religious standpoint, I think it’s wrong that some kids aren’t able to attend a school of their own religion because of lack of funding. A school choice voucher would open many doors for such families, even though opponents believe this to be the center of the “evil” of vouchers – eroding the “separation of church and state”. From an American viewpoint, I believe government funding should be available to help every student have the best possible chance to succeed.

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    I think that parents should be able to choose where their children attend school.
    From the standpoint of a student, I feel this way because I know …

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  • Neal from Illinois

    Yes because every child deserves to be able to go where they want, and with the rising costs of a college education, using taxpayer money to fund children’s dreams is a great use of taxpayer money

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    Yes because every child deserves to be able to go where they want, and with the rising costs of a college education, using taxpayer money to fund chil…

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  • Jonah from Kentucky

    Every child should be able to have access to a quality education which they DESERVE, no matter what random district the Government roped them into. The voucher system insures this.

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      No one truly deserves anything.
      And the voucher system only insures money. What is that money is misused? It is always possible it might be.

      0
  • Kathleen from Michigan

    Parents should have the right to pick where their children go to school. It doesn’t matter if it’s public or private. So, I think that parents should be offerred school choice vouchers but the vouchers should not say where the child or children must go to school. The parent should be able to pick where their children should go, and they should be able to determine where their children go based on their interest, not based on a monetary value.

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    Parents should have the right to pick where their children go to school. It doesn’t matter if it’s public or private. So, I think that parents should …

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      Part of the monetary value is already within School Choice. The government should not have to give you an education

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  • Andy from California

    Education is about serving the student, not the student serving the teacher. Families should have as much freedom as possible to choose the best education for their child. The government intervening here is inappropriate and unnecessary and simply adds more red tape and bureaucracy that denies families their constitutional liberties to choose what’s best for their children.

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    Education is about serving the student, not the student serving the teacher. Families should have as much freedom as possible to choose the best educa…

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  • Gigi from Delaware

    Although a pretty concept, school choice vouchers use the taxpayers money without thought of what each taxpayer does. For the families with homeschooled children, or children in the public education system this means taking away their money without any benefit for themselves, and where I’m from, that’s called stealing.

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    Although a pretty concept, school choice vouchers use the taxpayers money without thought of what each taxpayer does. For the families with homeschool…

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  • Nicholas from Wisconsin

    Choice is ok, as long as it doesn’t lead to a defunding of public school options for students/parents. Also, voucher/charter school should be held to the same standards as their public school counterparts.

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    Choice is ok, as long as it doesn’t lead to a defunding of public school options for students/parents. Also, voucher/charter school should be held to …

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  • Suzanne from New York

    A voucher takes money out of public schools. This especially hurts areas with great economic segregation. What we need are nationally funded schools. That is the only way to really address the regional disparities in wealth and educational achievement.

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    A voucher takes money out of public schools. This especially hurts areas with great economic segregation. What we need are nationally funded schools…

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    • Joshua from Pennsylvania

      I agree that this can hurt many areas with divides between the rich and poor, but Suzanne, unfortunately what you are advocating is unconstitutional and thus cannot be implemented by the Federal government. Congress has no power, according to the Constitution, to fund national public education. Article 1 grants no such power to it, and therefore—under Amendment 10—it does not have that power. The states alone have the power to fund public schools.

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      I agree that this can hurt many areas with divides between the rich and poor, but Suzanne, unfortunately what you are advocating is unconstitutional a…

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  • Joshua from Pennsylvania

    No. The answer to this question is compounded. It is two-fold: 1) Can the government do it, and 2) if the government did it, would it violate the First Amendment?

    1:
    Addressing the funding question—can the government provide funds in this way—I respond by contending that we can’t have Federally-funded public schools in the first place. I have made this argument before.

    According to Amendment 10 of the U.S. Constitution, any power that is not expressly granted to the Federal government is reserved to the states or the people.
    The power to provide money for educational purposes is not granted in the U.S. Constitution.
    Therefore, the Federal government cannot provide funds in this way.

    The main objection to the second prong is the General Welfare clause of Article 1, which grants Congress the power to spend money for the “general welfare of the United States.” It could be contended that contained within the phrase “general welfare” is education.
    This contention evaporates, however, when one looks at the original intention of the phrase. James Madison states unequivocally in the last 4 paragraphs of Federalist 41 that the general welfare clause did not grant Congress any more power than to spend within the other enumerate powers! In other words, it was Madison’s belief that Congress could only spend money if the cause for which it spent was within the rest of Section 8 of Article 1. (1)
    Even within the Founders that objected, the view was taken as expressed later by Joseph Story, in his Commentaries, in which he quotes Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall: “Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes, which are within the exclusive province of the states.” (2) If the states can spend for it—and they most certainly can spend for education—Congress cannot.
    We see, then, that whatever originally-consistent view one takes of this clause, it still supports my second contention, and thus my argument stands. The Federal government cannot spend money to fund public schools in the first place, much less to fund students going to a private school of their choice.

    2:
    Though irrelevant now, the First Amendment question is actually quite simple, and was decided by a unanimous Supreme Court decision in Witters v. Washington Department of Services for the Blind, in 1988. (2)

    Ultimately, the Court decided that if the program was secular in nature and did not promote religion as a whole, it did not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. “Any aid provided under Washington’s program that ultimately flows to religious institutions does so only as a result of the genuinely independent and private choices of aid recipients… Washington’s program is “made available generally, without regard to the sectarian-nonsectarian, or public-nonpublic, nature of the institution benefited,” and thus does not violate the First Amendment.

    In the same way, a school choice voucher is given to the individual, and then it is up to the individual to choose the school. Thus, it is the same situation as in Witters—it has a secular purpose and thus does not advance any particular religion. If the funds are used for a religious purpose, that is the individual’s choice and is protected by the Constitution. However, as has been shown, it is unconstitutional in the first place to provide the option.

    1: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/788#Hamilton_0084_751
    2: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s28.html
    3: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/474/481/case.html#485

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    No. The answer to this question is compounded. It is two-fold: 1) Can the government do it, and 2) if the government did it, would it violate the Firs…

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  • Kedrick from Idaho

    The voucher system wrongfully funnels tax-payer money out of the public education system – a system that is arguably quite underfunded already – and into the hands of private religiously affiliated institutions. The voucher system takes money from public schools and gives it to private religious schools that parents choose for their students to attend; the American Council for Private Education found that about 80% of private schools were religiously affiliated. This should be considered wrong for two main reasons: pubic schools, the foundation of the American education system, are greatly impacted in a negative way, and public funds are illegally allocated to religious organizations. Our public school should not take a “hit” because its funds are going to private schools; this would greatly hurt schools in low-income areas and schools in high-density religious areas. It is inexcusable to take funds away from our public school system, especially when the funds would end up going to private religiously affiliated organizations. Government funds should never go to fun a church and therefore a school run by a church – this is illegal. Tax payers should not have to pay for a student’s education at a religious school, and the government should not be willing to fund a religiously affiliated institution.

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    The voucher system wrongfully funnels tax-payer money out of the public education system – a system that is arguably quite underfunded already – and i…

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    • Joshua from Pennsylvania

      While I agree with your vote and appreciate your passion, Kedrick, I must disagree completely with your reasoning. What you are advocating is actually Establishment of Religion.

      You see, your contention is that “the government should not be willing to fund a religiously affiliated institution,” but you miss the fact that with a school choice voucher, the government is not doing this. The government is funding an individual’s choice, and thus it rests on the individual’s shoulders if they choose a religious school. It does not violate the First Amendment because the government is not advocating a certain religion. It provides the money whether the individual chooses a Christian, Muslim or Secular school. This is supported by the Supreme Court case Witters v. Washington Department of Services for the Blind, https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/474/481/case.html#485

      On the other hand, if the government were to only provide the money for secular schools and refuse for religious schools, that would violate the First Amendment, because it would be infringing not only on the individual’s Free Exercise of Religion, but it would also be an Establishment of Religion, as the government would be essentially promoting a “religion” of no religion. It would be oppressing those who do wish to educate their children religiously.

      Now, I do not in any way support the use of these vouchers by the Federal government, and thus I voted no. If a state government wishes to implement them, that is up to them. But the Federal government does not have the power to provide funds for education in the first place, so this is unconstitutional. Not because it infringes upon religion (as I just showed), but because the government has not the power to appropriate such funds.

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      While I agree with your vote and appreciate your passion, Kedrick, I must disagree completely with your reasoning. What you are advocating is actually…

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  • Seth from Indiana

    No, families should not have the option to receive a school choice voucher. I do not oppose school vouchers because they have the capacity to lead to violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Instead, I oppose these vouchers because they can create extreme inequalities between schools and, therefore, the education that students at varying schools may receive.

    The Fourteenth Amendment establishes that: “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    In Indiana, Indiana Code Title 20 Article 51 Chapter 4 (referred to as IC 20-51-4) establishes the standards mandated by the state on nonpublic schools. IC 20-51-4 Section 1 Subsection 3 (referred to as IC 20-51-4-1(3)) says: “A nonpublic eligible school shall be given the freedom to provide for the educational needs of students without governmental control.” Therefore, since it’s so vague and generalized, IC 20-51-4-1(3) gives a private school free reign over providing the “educational needs” of students without defining what an “educational need” is. Therefore, a religious private (nonpublic) school could determine that Bible Study courses are “educational needs” necessary to promote the moral education as established by IC 20-51-4-1(7). This section of the Indiana Code requires that teachers employed at these nonpublic schools “present instruction” with special emphasis on: “(A) honest; (B) morality; (C) courtesy; (D) obedience to law; (E) respect for the national flag and the Constitution of the State of Indiana and the Constitution of the United States; and (F) respect for parents and the home…”

    I believe the discrepancies permitted by the Indiana Code (it is important to note that these discrepancies are common in other states that support school vouchers – not only Indiana) violate the Fourteenth Amendment because, as already noted, there are times where nonpublic schools are not obliged to follow the same standards as public schools. This leads to persons, within the jurisdiction of the State of Indiana, and other countless states, not being treated with equal protection of the laws. Students that attend private schools may receive different quality educations than their counterparts that attend public schools.

    Elaborating further, I believe that education is a fundamental right and that the quality of education that one receives should not differ from school to school. Using school vouchers can create this discrepancy between schools that I am so strongly opposed to (as explained in my citation of the Indiana Code above). The definition of a fundamental right can be traced back to Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s argument in his majority opinion in Palko v. Connecticut, 1937. Although Palko was overruled by Benton v. Maryland, 1969, the test for determining whether a right is fundamental or not is still applicable to this day. Justice Cardozo’s test is two pronged: (1) Is the right a longstanding tradition?; and (2) Is the right necessary for a scheme ordered liberty? Historically speaking, education is a longstanding tradition and education is a way to receive knowledge and is therefore necessary for an ordered scheme of liberty (especially when considering clichés such as “ignorance of the law is no excuse”).

    I hold that some of America’s brightest governmental minds would agree with my stance if they were alive today:

    Nathan Dane’s Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation originally passed in 1787 (and later revamped in 1789). Dane’s ordinance argues for the right to education. The ordinance explicitly states: “…schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” The reason that the Northwest Ordinance can be considered in this matter is that the Supreme Court of the United States has already ruled on the constitutionality of the ordinance. Although the Ordinance was passed before the ratification of the United States Constitution, The Supreme Court recognized the authority of the Northwest Ordinance in the case Strader v. Graham, 1851. The Supreme Court held that the ordinance is constitutional.

    Furthermore, James Madison further advocated for public education in Federalist Paper No. 10, which was also originally published in 1787. Federalist 10 states: “The diversity in the faculties of men…is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.” These “faculties” that Madison advocates for so unequivocally are synonymous with the “abilities” of individuals; these “abilities” are to be protected by the states and the federal government, according to Madison. Interpreting this argument: one route that individuals may take to secure their abilities is education. Therefore, education must be considered to be a protected right of sorts.

    Applying the logic of these two American statesmen, we can see that a well-respected American lawyer and the Architect of The Constitution agree: education is an essential right of the people that should be protected regardless of religion, income, or social status. Everyone is entitled to a worthwhile education.

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    No, families should not have the option to receive a school choice voucher. I do not oppose school vouchers because they have the capacity to lead to …

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  • Jon from Wisconsin

    I believe that the government is responsible for providing funding for the public schools. It is not their responsibility to provide funding for students to go to private schools. As long as the government is making public schools available then if the parents aren’t happy with the quality they should have to be able to pay for it on their own.

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    I believe that the government is responsible for providing funding for the public schools. It is not their responsibility to provide funding for stude…

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  • jake from Pennsylvania

    I don’t believe it violates the first amendment, but rather it isn’t mentioned by our forefathers, that is why we shouldn’t change it, at least from a legal perspective. Next, i am about to go to college and it is very expensive but it makes me do research and really know what i want to do. If college was free or even just a lot cheaper, people wouldn’t care, they wouldn’t think. And it would make a college degree no longer special, so if you didn’t have a degree you are screwed, and if you do you will need to go further and get your masters.

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    I don’t believe it violates the first amendment, but rather it isn’t mentioned by our forefathers, that is why we shouldn’t change it, at least from a…

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    • Emma from Virginia

      Yes, you’re right. But they don’t just randomly give these off. They usually give them to people with special needs, disorders, or autism. They deserve to go to a school that might help them more than a public school would.

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      Yes, you’re right. But they don’t just randomly give these off. They usually give them to people with special needs, disorders, or autism. They deserv…

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  • Samantha from California

    As stated in the 10th Amendment, any power not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution remains with the states. As the Constitution does not give any branch of the federal government authority over education, it cannot use taxpayer dollars to fund education. It could be argued that the federal government already does this through the use of block grants, but it is the state that chooses to accept them and how to use them if it does. The issuing of school vouchers to individuals would mean that the federal government is directly funding schools, with no state oversight – a violation of the 10th Amendment, which gives this unenumerated power to the states. Each state could choose to issue its own school choice vouchers and be well within its power, but the federal government cannot issue school choice vouchers for the entire nation.

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    As stated in the 10th Amendment, any power not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution remains with the states. As the Constitution do…

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  • Sophia from Nebraska

    Tax money is for public schools, not private schools; that’s literally the difference between the two. If you don’t think a public school is good enough for your kid, that’s your problem, not the governments. We should be focusing on making our current public school system better, not on helping kids go to private schools, many of which are religious and would violate the separation of church and state.

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    Tax money is for public schools, not private schools; that’s literally the difference between the two. If you don’t think a public school is good enou…

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    • Emma from Virginia

      I disagree. People are paying tax money, so, therefore it is THEIR money. They should be able to choose how or where they should use their money. Also, what about people with autism? Is it it THEIR PROBLEM if the child has autism? No, of course not. If a private or a special school will help the child, then that’s BETTER not WORSE.

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      I disagree. People are paying tax money, so, therefore it is THEIR money. They should be able to choose how or where they should use their money. Also…

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  • Carlee from New Jersey

    Taxes are used to fund public school systems. If they don’t think they’re receiving an adequate education, it’s on the parent to pay for a private education, or to call for reform of the public school system.

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    Taxes are used to fund public school systems. If they don’t think they’re receiving an adequate education, it’s on the parent to pay for a private edu…

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  • Lauryn from Pennsylvania

    Giving people school choice vouchers will cause already under-funded public schools to lose even more of their tax revenue. I believe you shoud give back to your local public school, no matter what type of institution you or your children attend. As someone who goes to a private school currently, but spent my elementary and middle school education in public school, I believe I can clearly see both sides of the issue. School choice vouchers also encourage people to attend Christian/Catholic Schools, which are not regulated by the State. Not to mention that encourging Christian education is an obvious violation of the First Amendment.

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    Giving people school choice vouchers will cause already under-funded public schools to lose even more of their tax revenue. I believe you shoud give b…

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    • Jack from New York

      I also attend a private school now, but attended public school through my K-8 days, so I see where you’re coming from. The only thing is that it doesn’t necessarily violate the first amendment because the school doesn’t have to be religiously denominational, but rather the vouchers would stipulate a non-denominational, private or charter school. The other point you brought up I think is well made, but comes with an issue. Public Schools will not lose their funding to the degree you bring up. Not everyone will chose to use the school choice vouchers, so their tax dollars added to everyone else’s tax dollars that stay in the district will be proportional to the amount of students still in attendance, just on a smaller scale. Another thing to note is that public school taxes are not a specific section of the tax bill. The price people pay to their public schools is mixed in with roadway construction, sewage and sanitation removal, etc. So, the tax dollars will not 100% be leaving the school systems. If the school systems need more money, then it will be pulled out of another sectors budget. Even if this is a negative on the infrastructure of the area, that’s actually a plus because it brings more people who used the public voucher system back to see what this effect has on their community and will turn back to the public school system. So, vouchers are a short term bandaid that lets the long term infection seal up. People will eventually turn back, but it’s better to give them that choice and to let them choose than to not give it to them at all.

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      I also attend a private school now, but attended public school through my K-8 days, so I see where you’re coming from. The only thing is that it doesn…

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  • Alex from Ohio

    This question can go either way based on peopled financial situations. I do not have a solid personal opinion on the question, but according to the constitution the government is not necessarily responsible for education. The constitution does not mention education and by those means the United States Government should not hand our vouchers for schools.

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    This question can go either way based on peopled financial situations. I do not have a solid personal opinion on the question, but according to the co…

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  • Rachel from Florida

    As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Though, and trust me, I’ll be the first to say, our current public education system isn’t perfect, blindly throwing solutions (and money) at the problem isn’t going to solve everything. With school choice vouchers enacted, someday, the governments hand will reach into its sack of cash and come up empty, at the expense of all of America’s children.
    On face value, school choice seems perfect. It seems to be the liberal cure all to low income families unable to afford expensive private education for their kids. However, as much as it upsets me, money doesn’t grow on trees, meaning that to fund school vouchers, the Department of Education would have to be fishing for money in an already nearly empty lake: the same one used to fund public schools, leaving schools in less affluent neighborhoods behind in the dust. As the DOE reports, 40% of school districts see drastic inequalities in the way funds are given to each school, as district school boards find it politically expedient to cater to the richest families and schools, leaving poor schools and students within their own districts behind. Fortunately, federal programs like Title I are able to fix this sort of social inequality by increasing expenditures in these schools up to 15%. The funding of vouchers would end programs like these, killing more and more already underfunded public schools and widening the education gap with each voucher dispensed.
    As kids from affluent families and affluent neighborhoods continue attending both affluent public and private schools, kids from poor neighborhoods see their schools lose funding, and with it lose qualified teachers, beneficial programs, and learning technology and equipment. This is a direct violation of the 14th amendment, which guarantees that in all states with public education access, all students have the right to equal education access. But unfortunately, it’s not just the 14th amendment voucher programs spit at and step all over. As The Washington Post noted, a race disparity exists in the housing market, with, in cities like Chicago, 35% of all poor black families live in concentrated poor communities, compared to 4% of whites. This means that when it comes to vouchers, it will be public schools in mainly black communities that get hit the hardest, and black children losing quality of education. As a result, the precedent set by what is probably the most famous case handled by the supreme court, Brown v Board, is being (though inadvertently) violated as well, due to black children not being given the same opportunities as affluent white students. 
    Some argue that vouchers are worth their cost, due to their ability to provide quality education to children. But even this is not true. As a Stanford University study explained, due to a lack of accountability in charter schools, a child can miss out on an entire year of math education. When it comes to charter schools there are no winners. Just students left without a good education, taxpayers left without their money, and schools that lose all their funding.

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    As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Though, and trust me, I’ll be the first to say, our current public education system isn’t perfect…

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  • Madelyn from New York

    While school vouchers might not seem like a huge moment currently, they have the ability to impose a large threat onto public schools. If the parents of children are allowed to enter charter schools for no additional costs, the taxpayers are financing an industry that promotes non-secular learning. Since most charter schools have a religious slant, these schools are able to dodge state requirements such as regents testings and are able to abstain from teaching proven scientific theories such as evolution. Vouchers for students to choose charters is a direct breach of the separation of church and state this country was fabricated on

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    While school vouchers might not seem like a huge moment currently, they have the ability to impose a large threat onto public schools. If the parents …

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  • Makariah from Texas

    Having kids in school with others that can’t be as fortunate to just pick up and go to a different school really defeats the purpose of school. You go to school to learn new things both for education and for your future social life and the best way to do that is interacting with as many different people as you can. If all the rich kids decide to leave school or if all the asians decide to leave or if all the kids with single parents decide to leave then that’s one perspective less your kids will have on this world and that is something you will be taking away forever from a child: the opportunity to see the world through new eyes and interact with people radically different than you. This is going to be worse than segregation because people will also gravitate towards schools due to income or due to jobs so some kids may end up going to school with their parents’ coworkers’ kids because they all live and work in the same area and the school will be missing out on the flavor added by having parents of different jobs.

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    Having kids in school with others that can’t be as fortunate to just pick up and go to a different school really defeats the purpose of school. You go…

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  • Joseph from California

    Given the hostile political climate that exists today, it seems quite plausible to suggest that freedom supersedes equality. But at closer examination, the widening economic gap that exists today in our country stems from poor funding that is allocated at the state and local level. The issue is not a matter of “school choice;” rather, the dispute that arises from such a predicament is a reprehensible sentiment concerning the actions of the government. Thus, it is clearly evidence that families should not have the option to receive a school choice voucher due to the following: funding for public schools will drastically decrease, the funding of private religious schools undermines and violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and sanctioning equity for liberty not only corrodes a society, but initiates a precedent that ultimately results in dire ramifications.

    In 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Lemon v. Kurtzman that Pennsylvania’s Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Education Act from 1968 was unconstitutional. The case arose because of a contentious decision that allowed the state legislature of Pennsylvania to pass a law that allowed local government to use money to fund educational programs that taught religious-based lessons, activities and studies. The law violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This case ties similar roots to the conflict our country is currently facing today. If public funding is used for religious education, then the state will violate the First Amendment because the Constitution does not allow the establishment of any state laws or legislation that combine the interests of religious people with the interests of the state’s population. Questions that inevitably arise from this dispute concern whether or not the state is permitted to assist the teaching of dogmatic education that derives from private and religious institutions. On the other hand, a compelling case can be made regarding a violation of the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. Aren’t all Americans entitled to practice their own faith so long as the rights of other individuals are not violated? Though such a question seems easy to discern, it is equally imperative to consider the decision that arose from the Court. Chief Justice Warren Burger spelled out a three-part test for judging the constitutionality of State aide to religious education. Known as the Lemon test, the verdict that was decided in the case aims to consolidate the separation of church and state that is enshrined in our founding document. With this background information, it is easy to see that providing tax-payer money to private schools violates the First Amendment and the Lemon Test.

    Not only does providing parents the choice to receive a school voucher infringe upon the Constitution, it results in consequences that are unfavorable and undesirable. Consider Jackson, Mississippi. With a higher than average pupil/teacher ratio, and paltry spending per student, Jackson also has the distinction of a location in the state of Mississippi, which scores low for proficiency in math and reading as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. What would happen if parents (the ones who actually care for their children) began utilizing the option of a school choice voucher? The school’s standards would decrease as the more “intelligent” students would leave. Better schools would be pitted against ones that can not stand in comparison. It is better if students, who are more driven than others, stay at schools that do not perform as well as other ones in order to encourage the students who are not as passionate to excel. A rising tide elevates all ships at see. Thus, encouraging the more scholarly students to stay at schools that do not receive the best reputation helps everyone. Moreover, education is not a matter of the market. Education is a right that ought to be funded by the state and maintained by federal standards in order to ensure a more just and equitable society.

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    Given the hostile political climate that exists today, it seems quite plausible to suggest that freedom supersedes equality. But at closer examination…

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  • Porsha from California

    I vote no on school choice vouchers for reasons. First of all school choice vouchers takes away from schools funding for the public schools removing the already little money that some schools receive. School choice provides money for private schools which shouldn’t be allowed because private schools are supposed to fund themselves hence the name private. Third the government shouldn’t be providing just free money to any person that wants their kids to go to a better school because this could cause problems with their living situation, transportation, and any money costs or issues for the child and students. Lastly the child should be looked at before they are put into any school chosen by the parent because some schools work and some schools don’t for each child and every child is different so parents and students should be checked for that as well

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    I vote no on school choice vouchers for reasons. First of all school choice vouchers takes away from schools funding for the public schools removing t…

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  • Christian from Texas

    The government’s responsibility is to protect the general welfare, not make it. Although government voucher sounds good, it is not a constitutional duty. Furthermore, government funding runs into issues of what groups and schools to support, when education is not a government right. The government safeguards a society where education is available.

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    The government’s responsibility is to protect the general welfare, not make it. Although government voucher sounds good, it is not a constitutional du…

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  • Kaile from Indiana

    I don’t think that any money should go towards private schools. That is why it is called PRIVATE. It is PRIVATELY funded. They should have to receive money from various people/organizations to fun their school. If a parent wants to sent their child to private school that is their decision, and their debt to pay. Public school shouldn’t have money taken away from them to go to private schools.

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    I don’t think that any money should go towards private schools. That is why it is called PRIVATE. It is PRIVATELY funded. They should have to receive …

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  • hannah from Michigan

    I think it is unfair that they dont have to pay for the shelter or schooling. many Americans struggle with it too today so why should we pay others to do what we are working so hard for?

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    I think it is unfair that they dont have to pay for the shelter or schooling. many Americans struggle with it too today so why should we pay others to…

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    • Colin from New Jersey

      The topic is not about paying for shelter or schooling. Every tax paying American citizen is paying for the public school educations in their district. The topic of this discussion is saying that as parents pay for a public school education that their children do not use, the government sets an allotted amount of money aside for the parents to use for the education the child receives at a private school.

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      The topic is not about paying for shelter or schooling. Every tax paying American citizen is paying for the public school educations in their distric…

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  • Naml from Mississippi

    The constitution doesn’t guarantee the right to education. However, the states shouldn’t regulate tax money unfairly. Education shouldn’t be used as an exchange for goods or services.IT should be funded on the most equitable manner possible. It shouldn’t be one district has funds to educate and another doesn’t. Parents shouldn’t have to uproot if possible to the best school. Everyone can’t afford the transportation, etc. even with the discount. We shouldn’t deprave kids because they live in a certain area and channel resources to another area or district.

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    The constitution doesn’t guarantee the right to education. However, the states shouldn’t regulate tax money unfairly. Education shouldn’t be used as a…

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  • J from Pennsylvania

    OK, so this is NOT my personal opinion (As I am not exactly sure of my opinion), but a constitutional argument on the situation. This has been used before, but is not yet in this argument:

    The preamble states that the government is to “promote the general welfare.” PROMOTE is the key word here. Our premise is “Should families have the option to receive a School Choice Voucher?” While I am a supporter of School Choice, the constitution says that it is the government’s job to promote, NOT PROVIDE the general welfare.

    So the government should give vouchers, because it is only their job to promote. I therefore, vote NO.

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    OK, so this is NOT my personal opinion (As I am not exactly sure of my opinion), but a constitutional argument on the situation. This has been used b…

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    • Joshua from Pennsylvania

      If I may, sir—your argument is, unfortunately, wrong. The major problems with your argument:

      1) The preamble of the Constitution does not actually grant power to the government, it lays out the purpose of the rest of the Constitution. Thus, while it may be used to interpret the rest of the Constitution, it cannot be used in a way that definitively settles an issue.

      2) In fact, Article 1, Section 8, first clause, says this:
      “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”
      This actually says that Congress CAN spend money to provide for General Welfare. Thus, it is granted power to provide, not merely promote.

      I agree completely with your vote, but your reasoning is constitutionally faulty.

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      If I may, sir—your argument is, unfortunately, wrong. The major problems with your argument:

      1) The preamble of the Constitution does not actuall…

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    • J from Pennsylvania

      Why thank you

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    • Rebecca from Texas

      While I do disagree about the vouchers, you do make a very valid argument.

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