Yin & Yang on Voucher Schools

Margaret Farrow:

School choice opponent Barbara Miner says that Wisconsin legislators should “just say no” to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to expand educational options for Milwaukee parents (Crossroads, March 13).
My advice to legislators?
Just say yes.
Those who do will have Milwaukee residents, especially Milwaukee parents, on their side.
In a recent poll, Milwaukeeans rate the 20-year-old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program successful by a two-to-one margin (60%-28%). The results cut across racial and economic lines and extend even to households without school-age children.
Parents are especially enthusiastic. Two-thirds say the program is successful, and 64% endorse expansion.
There is good reason for their support. Students in Milwaukee’s school choice program graduate from high school at rates 18% higher than Milwaukee Public Schools students, according to estimates by University of Minnesota professor John Robert Warren.

Barbara Miner:

Memo to all Wisconsin legislators. There is an easy way to prove you care about public education in Wisconsin. And it won’t cost a penny.
Just say no to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed expansion of the Milwaukee voucher program providing tax dollars to private schools.
This may seem merely like a Milwaukee issue. It’s not. Voucher advocates have made clear for more than 20 years that their goal is to replace public education with a system of universal vouchers that includes private and religious schools.
The heartbreaking drama currently playing in Milwaukee – millions of dollars cut from the public schools while vouchers are expanded so wealthy families can attend private schools in the suburbs – may be coming soon to a school district near you.
For those who worry about taxation without representation, vouchers should send shivers down your spine. Voucher schools are defined as private even though subsidized by taxpayers.