Somehow, the Utah legislature managed to pass a voucher law this year. Luckily, the whole thing is being put to a vote in November as Referendum 1. There are so many things wrong with the voucher law that it’s almost laughable. And the campaign ads of the people who are supporting it remind me of everything I hate about politics and Mac commercials – it’s a bunch of half truths and mudslinging.
This is one of those issues that I can’t sit idly by on. So I’m putting several of my thoughts I’ve expressed elsewhere on the internet here.
* There are several law suites right now questioning the constitutionality of the voucher bills that were passed in Utah, as they would be giving state money to religious institutions. Those who say otherwise say that the money is going to parents who then give it to the religious schools, and since the parents are the middleman and the religious schools are not the direct recipients of the money, then it isn’t a problem.
* All the arguments that businesses are able to turn a profit and always sell top quality products have no place in education. If you have a fruit stand, you don’t try to sell the smashed fruit and make it live up to the potential of the unsmashed fruit, you chuck it. I can’t chuck the kids who aren’t going to produce for me. I have to work with that child and help them as best I can. Sure they may never win a prize at the state fair for being the best fruit around, but I can’t just throw them into the compost pile.
* The pro-voucher ads on tv are interesting. They tend to stay away from the word “voucher,” instead simply referring to “Referendum 1.” It reminded me of the pro-life/pro-choice debate. How can anyone be anti-life or anti-choice? You just wouldn’t classify yourself that way. The voucher camp is going the same route calling themselves the parent-choice and parent-right group. I mean, why would anyone classify themselves as being against choice or against rights?
* I find it quite interesting that the pro-voucher people are focusing on the monetary support the NEA is giving to those who are against vouchers, but there is no mention anywhere of the out-of-state corporations that are funding the voucher side. I still haven’t figured out why corporations would care about this issue.
* What about those parents who don’t live anywhere near a private school? When I think about that, it seems to me that school vouchers are more to give parents in certain areas of Utah a choice and not bother with those parents who live elsewhere.
I would have been voting on November 6th even if this hadn’t been an issue on the ballot. But I will be sure that as many people as possible know the truth about how bad the vouchers are on my way.