Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Something doesn't add up about private school vouchers

For once I agree with Marta Mossburg, that something needs to be done about Baltimore City public schools ("Baltimore City schoolchildren deserve a real choice," Sept. 12). But I'm very curious where she came up with the numbers she uses to push her idea for vouchers.

Unless she's living in a very different world from Baltimore, her numbers just don't add up. She says that Baltimore City spends $14,711 per student, which she says is the third highest in the nation. That may be true, but then she follows it up by saying, "Private school costs are lower than public school costs" and that a voucher system would cost only $42,00 per pupil over a three year period. Where in the world is she getting these numbers?

For this school year, the tuition at Gilman School is slightly over $22,000 per pupil, more than $7,000 more than what the City School system is spending. Boys Latin and St. Paul's are about the same, and Friends School is closer to $23,000 per pupil. Oldfields School and St. Timothy's School, which include room and board, are both over $45,000 per pupil, making them more than $30,000 more expensive per year than Baltimore City public schools.

So I'm puzzled. How in the world can Ms. Mossburg claim that private school is less expensive than public school? She must have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan doing her math for her. And where does this "$4,200 per pupil over a three year period" number come from? If the state only gave vouchers worth that much to send a child to private school, that still leaves the parents responsible for picking up the remaining $62,000 — and that's if they choose the least expensive private schools. I fail to see how that's going to be any help at all.

Given the dismal picture Ms. Mossburg paints of academics in the Baltimore City public school system, and the shaky grasp of numbers she seems to demonstrate in her article, I can only reach one conclusion. Ms. Mossburg must have attended one of Baltimore's public schools.

William Smith, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • School choice? How about sending city kids to the suburbs

    Conservative columnist Marta Mossburg's Sept. 13 article "City's schoolchildren deserve a real choice" prompts a question for her about her advocacy for using taxpayer money to pay for kids to go to private schools. When she says a "real choice," does she mean it?

  • Free community college is a bad idea
    Free community college is a bad idea

    Free community college is another poorly thought idea from President Barack Obama ("Obama turns populist in State of the Union speech," Jan. 21). Am I against opening up the opportunity for many who cannot afford college? Absolutely not, but here is my concern. We already require K-12 education...

  • No known regulations or “best practices” make fracking safe
    No known regulations or “best practices” make fracking safe

    It was gratifying to see fellow members of Gov. Martin O'Malley's commission on hydraulic fracturing, Harry Weiss and Jeff Kupfer, take the time to explain their views on the former governor's proposals for new gas-drilling regulations. Trying to safeguard the public with rules last updated...

  • Ignore the Red Line NIMBYs
    Ignore the Red Line NIMBYs

    Marty Taylor of the Right Rail Coalition has been complaining about the Red Line for many years, long before the final route and plan was presented and approved.

  • Stop the smoke and mirrors of the 'rain tax' debate
    Stop the smoke and mirrors of the 'rain tax' debate

    The article by Pamela Wood on "rolling back the rain tax" ("Counties reconsider stormwater fees," Jan. 25) only adds to my confusion about how the whole state of Maryland continues to be in an uproar over the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act mandating reductions in nitrogen,...

  • Terps women deserve recognition
    Terps women deserve recognition

    As a fan of the University of Maryland women's basketball team, I would appreciate seeing them get front page coverage on the Sports section once in awhile ("Sophomores lead the way in No. 7 Terps women's 84-74 win at Indiana," Jan. 26).

  • Obama's middle class 'help' is useless
    Obama's middle class 'help' is useless

    All we hear from President Barack Obama is that he is for the middle class. Well, I consider myself middle class. I am a retired homeowner, so let's see how this pans out for me.

  • Kevin Plank should be mindful of Port Covington's history
    Kevin Plank should be mindful of Port Covington's history

    From a Baltimore History standpoint, it is strongly to be desired that those involved in the development of Port Covington ("Kevin Plank-backed Port Covington deals fuel new speculation for possible campus," Jan. 23) remember the day in September 1814 when Fort Covington along with the nearby...

Comments
Loading