Education Voucher has always been debated in America. Cons outweigh the pros though.
How do School Vouchers Work and What is it About
How do School vouchers work – well, a school voucher is the Government funding certificate given to students. The funding period is either for a term, year or semester and the funding may be selected by the student or his/her parents.
Of all the topics covered in this budget, School Vouchers section is the most debated. Though these vouchers are debated, there is support for this from many quarters.
After serious deliberations, spread over many years, in the year 2004, Congress planned to provide a voucher of $7500 to 1700 students in Washington DC. The authorities felt that this would move the children from backward schools to private and religious schools. But, in 2009 this program was stopped due to pressure from teachers, Congress, administration, and unions.
The present administration seeks to revive this initiative.
Counties in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In Douglas County, Colorado is in the process of setting up Education Voucher systems within their respective council.
Some states like Louisiana, Ohio, and Florida have already set up one, while Milwaukee is already providing for above 20,000 students.
School Vouchers Pros And Cons
As more and more vouchers are announced, its effect on the Educational setup is needed to be analyzed. The existing voucher systems give us an idea of the consequences, pros and cons of School vouchers.
Some points that are put forward by proponents of Voucher systems are analyzed:
Benefits of School Voucher system – Vouchers Reach Students in the Most Need
Most vouchers are given to low-income or differently-abled students. Voucher supporters claim that these vouchers will reach the poorest student of any race or descent. Reports suggest the vouchers do not reach the poverty-stricken nor the richest and brilliant students.
Projections on vouchers have always failed and legislators learn lessons from experiences, as and when the projects are executed. An example, Florida faced many problems on issuing Special education vouchers.
Students who earned Vouchers are stronger than their Public school friends in academics
When there was a comparison made between lucky students who received Vouchers and other public school students academically, there was not much test score difference. Of course, the parents of these lucky kids were more satisfied.
It may be concluded that, even though the students who receive vouchers and their parents are elated, there is no significant improvement in their test score.
Vouchers are a financial burden to Public schools
This fact is debated, because though it looks like public schools lose students in some cases it has been profitable for places like Wisconsin and Washington DC, wherein the latter received federal funds in exchange for passing the voucher program.
Voucher programs make schools competitive
This is another point in favor of Voucher programs which appears realistic in theory. In practice, this is a myth as Schools are not business-minded and different schools experience different scenarios.
An example can be given from Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Washington. Both places have Voucher systems but the standard of education is very low. There have been improvements in Florida, as well.
Private, parochial and public charter schools are better than public schools
Persons speaking for Vouchers in School Vouchers debate, feel private, parochial and public charter schools fare better than public schools. There are various factors to keep in mind while selecting a school for a child. Academic plans of school, curriculum, Schedules – transit or year round, the factors which the school emphasis like art or technology and a host of other factors determine school selection.
Selecting a private school is not a guarantee that a child will be strong in its academics. A not-so-good public school may still have a few pluses and the child may enjoy the benefits of School vouchers.
Parents, hence should analyze all factors and select a good school for their kid, keeping in mind the few points of school vouchers debate.