Opinion Editorial, by James Broadwater, Hinds County (Mississippi) Republican Examiner
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says the state budget has to be cut even further, and he has put forth the ideas of merging Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University with Jackson State University and the Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State University. He has also put forward the ideas of consolidating public school districts within the state, and that’s where he could do better.
A better idea would be vouchers. Yes, the idea that has been proven to work, often talked about by parental rights groups and home school families and parents who send their children to private schools, but that has not often been tried.
Organizations like WallBuilders (http://www.wallbuilders.com) have proven that children educated in private Christian schools and those who are home schooled with Christian curriculum score higher on the SAT and on the ACT than their public school counterparts, yet those who control the public school empire seem to fear competition.
Parents who send their children to private schools are forced to pay taxes to support failing public schools, and then they pay again to send their children to the school to which they want to sen them. Home school parents are also forced to pay taxes to support these failing public schools, while at the same time purchasing curriculum for their children at an additional cost. These children are well adjusted, and learn in a cleaner, safer environment than public school students. Many students who are in the public schools express a desire to be home schooled, but can't get their parents to agree with them.
If parents were given vouchers so they could spend their tax money to send their own children to the school of their choice, it would increase competition, decrease the cost of education, and ease traffic on the roads. And it would help solve our budget problem in Mississippi, where we spend 60 percent of our state budget on education. It's a win-win all the way around, except for the big government bureaucrats who want to keep a stranglehold on our children and our educational system.