St. Charles Herald-Guide

Vouchers could benefit education

Our View - December 6, 2012

Louisiana’s school voucher plan suffered a setback last week when a Baton Rouge area judge declared it unconstitutional. Judge Tim Kelley ruled that funds from the Minimum Foundation Program could not be diverted to private entities.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who sought the spreading of public education funds to private schools, says he intends to continue the fight to give parents the right to allow the voucher plan, which gives them the right to send their children to approved private schools.

Of course, our public school system must be preserved to guarantee every child a right to an educational program that will help them survive the pitfalls of life. But diverting some of those funds to private schools that meet the required credentials should not impede that guarantee.

The cost of education in a private school these days seems to be no more, if not less, than in a public school. And if that private school can provide as good an education, if not better, than a public school, then what have we lost?

In fact, it produces a competition between private and public education that can improve the imprint of education on all students, public and private. And it could expand on the types of beneficial education available.

There is no law in the constitution, national or state, that says we must send students to public or private schools. So what’s the hassle?

If the state provides funds for the education of children, it should allow them to go where their parents choose, provided the educational requirements are met. And they should all benefit from the improvements achieved.