Saturday, April 22, 2017

Russ on Reading: School Choice: The Faustian Bargain

Russ on Reading: School Choice: The Faustian Bargain:

School Choice: The Faustian Bargain


Yesterday, Secretary of Education and school choice champion, Betsy DeVos and school choice opponent and President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten toured a public school in Ohio. The New York Times reported that the two were there seeking some common ground in the school choice debate. While the school that DeVos and Weingarten visited is in a heavily Republican district in Ohio, the voters there are no fans of school choice. As one voter put it, vouchers are "like theft." "It's saying we passed a levy to go to our school district, and it's going somewhere else." Exactly. School choice is theft of our tax dollars and theft of our democracy.


Choice sounds so democratic, so quintessentially American that voucher and charter school champions keep using the term to hoodwink people into thinking that choice in schooling is a good thing. I suggest that those of us who oppose vouchers and charter schools call school choice what it is in the eyes of that Ohio voter, tax theft. The government collects our taxes in order to provide essential services to all of us. There is no choice involved, we all must pay taxes (unless, apparently, we are hugely wealthy). Those essential services include providing for a military, promoting research on health and welfare, providing for police and fire protection, and funding public schools. When money is diverted from the support of the public schools, it amounts to, as the Ohio voter said, theft. Or maybe another way to say it is "taxation without representation", since voters have no voice and no oversight of how 
Russ on Reading: School Choice: The Faustian Bargain:

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