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School Vouchers

Many parents are lobbying for states to provide an open door policy for using school vouchers in public, religious and private school settings. Parents want the option of choosing what school their children will attend. Critics only want to know whether that choice will be based on academics, or if social issues will be the greatest factor in choosing the appropriate school.

In the public school setting, students are sometimes exposed to unsafe schools, overcrowded classes and forced into a certain school district based on where they live. Private sector teachers claim to be able to provide individualized instruction by utilizing smaller classes and a less strict curriculum. Schools that qualify for school vouchers are subsequently labeled as magnet schools; and competition to gain entrance to such specialized schools can become a challenge.

The advantages of being free to choose what school your child can attend may seem to outweigh the disadvantages, but it all depends on your point of view. The school voucher can become a threat for public school educatorswhether real or imagined. Funds that would otherwise be allotted to provide updated technology, professional development, and improve overall student outcome could possibly be diverted to meet the needs of private schools.

One of the biggest factors to consider when making the decision to use a school voucher is the value of diverse socialization. Socialization of students attending a private school has may be limited because of the selective grouping created by these schools. As children go through the public school system they become familiar with a diverse culture, which mirrors everyday life in todays global community. Choosing to use school vouches is not a decision to be taken lightly, by any stretch of the imagination; which is why it is important to fully research both the educational and social aspects of any school you are considering for your children.

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