Vouchers will make schools accountable to parents rather than a bureaucracy. Principals and administrators will have to convince parents that they are doing a good job. That's real accountability. And the Utah law requires private schools to submit to independent financial audits and give students a nationally recognized test each year. The results would be publicly disclosed, giving parents information they can use to judge schools.
This anti-voucher coalition says vouchers will only benefit children who would have gone to private schools anyway. But the Vote for 1 Campaign points out that current private-school students would get vouchers only if their families are low-income. So the law would give new opportunities to parents and children who today have no options at all.
The coalition claims that "vouchers will cost at least $429 million funds that could be used in public schools to reduce class size, provide textbooks and supplies." But voucher supporters note that since an average voucher would be worth only $2,000 and the state spends more than $7,500 per student, government schools would have $5,500 more per lost student to spend on the remaining students. They should be happy about that.
For over a century, American children have been in the hands of education bureaucrats. For over 40 years, the government's system has been dominated by a protectionist teachers' union that puts itself ahead of the children entrusted to its members. The results are what we should expect from a monopoly financed with money extracted from taxpayers: poor quality, lack of innovation and bored children.
The parents of Utah should be the envy of the rest of the country because on Tuesday, they have a chance to take back control of their children's education.