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Charters or Vouchers?

Which is better – charters or vouchers?


The short answer: you decide.

Public charter schools and private school choice in the form of STCs, vouchers, and ESAs have their drawbacks. There are accountability issues associated with the way private schools grade their students, since many private schools are not required to publicly report on test scores and student performance. On the other hand, charter schools are public schools, and therefore constrained to measure their performance based on standardized tests. Yet, some charter schools struggle with financial accountability when it is discovered that conflicts of interest exist between their governing boards and their management companies, should they have one.

Then again, public District schools have been accused of similar things, and the list grows annually: cheating in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Columbus, Glen Cove, Las Vegas, and St. Louis; financial improprieties in Seattle, Michigan, Centinela Valley, Genesee Intermediate, and Beaumont; sex scandals in Susquehanna Township, Los Angeles, Laurens County, Richland, Manatee County, and Ector County; and even child abuse in Maine Township and Los Angeles. This isn’t even the complete list, and many of these cases are still pending.

The bottom line is that whatever form of school choice a family thinks is best for them, they should have access to it. If public education for American families is going to provide freedom from cost, it should also provide freedom of access. Open-enrollment public schools are a good place to start, at least with regard to attendance, but once you get down to curriculum, school culture, and what is the “best fit” for students, it is imperative that American parents have access to an educational marketplace. Remember, your tax dollars pay for public education. The least the government can do is provide you with the type of education you deserve.