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School choice vs. funding

April 13, 2019
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

The movement called "School Choice" seems like such a positive concept that all should favor because we NEED to have choice in the schools our children attend. However, it also suggests that choice does not currently exist, but choice already exists.

Children can attend public school. If that school is not suitable, parents can open enroll their children in a different public school. Private schools, many of which are associated with particular religions, already exist.

Also, if a parent likes none of the above options, they can teach their children at home. Amazingly, and thanks to the current majority in the Iowa legislature, children don't have to attend school at all.

They can stay home and play video games with no accountability ever for receiving any kind of education in the 3 r's. That, too, is a choice and a mighty poor one made possible by our legislature.

School choice already exists.

The real question is should we devote the funds needed for our public schools so parents can pay for their children's attending expensive private schools. Of course, if the state had an abundance of education funds, that would not be much of a problem (although some may argue that parents wanting an expensive private education should foot their own bill), but it has become clear over the last decade that public schools have constantly been underfunded.

To continue with inadequate funding, public schools have had to cut teaching staff making larger class sizes and had to drop courses and programs that their budgets can no longer afford. Since our state is not adequately supporting the over 350 public schools with half a million of our children, then the state has no business funding the wishes of parents who want taxpayers to pay for THEIR choice to attend an expensive private school.

Anne Michael




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