There's something the U.S. government doesn't want you to know. And it's come out again in the new Heritage Foundation report on education. It conveys that the general public is increasingly dissatisfied with public schools, with a rising number opting for private education.
The report explains that during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, 44 states introduced school-choice legislation. And in 2008, choices for private school were enacted into law or expanded in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. Today 14 states and the District of Columbia offer voucher or education tax-credit programs that aid parents with sending their children to private schools. But that may be short-lived.
Despite the growing public preference for private education, Congress recently canceled the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was created in 2004 to offer students from low-income families in the nation's capital an opportunity to join the voucher educational community. The law provided $14 million in scholarships to help pay for tuition at private schools of their choosing. But no longer.
Why did Congress nix the program, especially when recent studies showed that students receiving vouchers since the program's inception were academically 18.9 months ahead of their peers? (I read the other day that 100 percent of Thurgood Marshall Academy's charter graduates are accepted to colleges.) And why would Congress phase out a program that costs $7,500 per student annually, compared with the $15,000 it costs in Washington's public schools to educate a child?
So its cancellation is not a result of costing too much, because it's half the price of public schooling. And it's not because of inferior quality, because the kids enrolled in the program were scoring higher than students in regular schools. There's only one reason Congress canceled it, and it comes down to this: federal control and educational indoctrination.
Of course, government officials won't admit to a blatant usurpation of our rights, but they will say their educational reform is seeking to help your children. They will say it is necessary to establish common educational standards. They will say that we need to leave education to the experts and not to parents. And I fear that too many of us simply will give in to the whims of the nanny state.
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