Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 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 © 2014, 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?

  • Md. needs outpatient commitment
    Md. needs outpatient commitment

    The article by Meredith Cohn, "Involuntary treatment for the mentally ill in Maryland" (Dec. 10) and your editorial, "Refusing treatment" (Dec. 11), are very accurate. I know because I have had to deal with my son's refusal to take any medication for many years. He is psychotic and very...

  • Outpatient commitment law is crucial
    Outpatient commitment law is crucial

    In response to The Sun's recent editorial, "Refusing treatment" (Dec. 11), what disability rights groups omit when they say that "assertive community outpatient services" are better than outpatient civil commitment for the seriously mentally are the following sad and enduring facts.

  • Good ideas for cutting spending
    Good ideas for cutting spending

    I liked Sen. Jim Rosapepe's commentary regarding the state budget and ways to reduce spending ("Three big ways Gov. Hogan can save tax money," Dec. 16). I hope Larry Hogan takes it to heart!

  • At root of much youth violence is hunger
    At root of much youth violence is hunger

    Your article, "City's violence can take hidden toll" (Dec. 14), was important in that it outlined the issues of crime in neighborhoods and help that is being undertaken to curb the violence from the children of this city. It is important, but it doesn't address the cause for some of the...

  • Dealing with childhood violence
    Dealing with childhood violence

    Thank you for Andrea McDaniels' brilliant article on the impact of violence on children ("Advocates aim to save Baltimore children from impact of violence," Dec. 14). Pediatricians are so concerned about this issue — called Adverse Childhood Experiences — that we have made the...

  • Reduce littering? Yes. Death wish? No
    Reduce littering? Yes. Death wish? No

    I write in response to Charlotte Eliopoulos' criticism of Dan Rodricks and the other "older guys" on the bus who did not confront the young guy who threw a McDonald's bag into the street ("Littering comes down to a question of attitude," Dec. 14). Someone needs to remind her that it is not...

  • Big Ag must be held to account for bay pollution
    Big Ag must be held to account for bay pollution

    Dan Rodricks' arguments for protecting the Chesapeake Bay from pollution from chicken farms could have been even stronger ("Larry Hogan has a chance to be a green governor," Dec. 13).

Comments
Loading