Time to think creatively about school voucher system [Letter]

Regarding your recent editorial in the May 15 issue of the Towson Times, "Abolishing school trailers will take creativity, determination," you say, "There's no escaping the obvious solution — more schools or enlarging existing schools." I'd like to take you up on your suggestion that "there is another obstacle — lack of creativity ... [that] might mean finding unconventional solutions."

The solution is staring us right in the face: we already have the school infrastructure, desks, talented teachers, excellent curricula, ready now for our children. It's in our fine area private schools, all of which are seriously jeopardized by falling enrollment. Which do you think is most cost effective: building and maintaining entire new schools or helping parents send their children to the school of their choice?

It's time to think creatively about a voucher system that recognizes that the parents enrolling their children in private schools are paying the same taxes that parents of public school children are paying and deserve to have at least a portion of that money follow their children to private schools.

If parents were credited even half of the per pupil allotment spent in public schools, many could afford to send their children to private schools and greatly ease the burden on public schools.

Some will cry, "Brain drain! You'll be siphoning off the best students and most involved parents!"

But private schools take students of many, many ability levels, including those with disabilities.

Yes, we do need to think outside the box. Time to stop a reflex reaction that says vouchers are unfair and unworkable. Time to recognize that children in private schools are as much "our children" as children in a public schools and do our best by them all.

Virginia Campbell


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