We don't do poor kids any favors by keeping them trapped in the poorly run government system. If you really care about "the public," you should let people go where they get the best service.
When government gets bad results -- high dropout rates, poor test scores -- its defenders say schools need more money. But spending per student has tripled. There are more computers, teachers, social workers, reading specialists, principals, assistant principals, etc. But test scores haven't improved.
Unpredictable things happen when you leave people free to experiment, and competition produces better results than one tired monopoly.
A bizarre column in Slate recently, arguing that school choice might drain resources away from government schools, was titled, "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person".
The columnist wrote, "If every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve ... It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good."
This is how leftists think. Everyone must jump into the government pot. Even if it is mediocre (or worse), we're all in this together. Otherwise, the rich will get all the goods, and the poor will suffer.
Don't they notice that cellphones, cars and air conditioning keep improving yet "poor" people are able to buy them? No.
They don't understand that market competition helps everyone, especially the poor.
I think those who want to force a single-government solution on everyone are just confused -- but if I were as judgmental as that Slate columnist, I'd be tempted to conclude that they're bad people.