Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

There are 5 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Nov 18, 2007, titled Letters to the Editor. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

All pay for schools because all benefit In "Public schools: the state church" , Thomas C. Hunt and James C. Carper state that it is unfair for those people sending their children to private schools to have to ...

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Baltimore, MD

#1 Nov 19, 2007
Stephen Fox clearly misses the point Hunt and Carper were trying to make. Even if education is a public good and deserves to be subsidized, it makes no sense to tax people who are already paying to have their children educated outside the public school system unless you believe that the government is the sole arbiter of worthwhile knowledge.
His argument that we would have to pay more if people paying more were no longer forced to do so seems not to consider the fact that when those parents remove their children from the public system, the eliminate the variable expense associated with providing instruction to an additional pupil. Unless you conduct a detailed analysis of the costs and foregone tax revenue for each child, you simply cannot make the blanket assertion the Mr. Fox does.
Why is Stephen so afraid of competition? Can he name a field in which competition has yielded an outcome inferior to the monopoly it replaced? If he really thinks the current government monopoly is the best structure for delivering education, he should be able to provide some evidence and compelling logical arguments to support that position. I found his original response to be devoid of both.

Hyattsville, MD

#2 Nov 19, 2007
All I know about education is this ... pouring more money into the System will not fix it, and make students better educated. That has been proven for years, just look at that Baltimore City School System. Tax dollars are wasted every year to fund schools that only 1/2 of the student population graduate. At least private schools seem to be better at educating students. You don't see the crime in them, and parents participate in a positive way, not crying that their children are being singled out because of race, or other reasons. I don't mind paying taxes (I don't have children in school) but do resent money being wasted.

Oxon Hill, MD

#3 Nov 19, 2007
Stephen Fox is exactly correct. I don't have kids. I still pay for public schools. Religious education advocates say taking their kids out of school saves money. Doesn't not having kids save money? Their real agenda is not being exempt from paying general revenue. Their real agenda is to have the public pay to send their kids to schools that don't teach shared values and skills through vouchers or other means. This is what we saw in the segregation academies in the south in the sixties. What if it were not Catholic schools we were paying vouchers for? What if it were the schools that educated the Taliban? How could we pay for (or exempt from taxes) one and not the other? Do I want to pay for an "education" that teaches that dinos didn't exist, that the universe is only 6800 years old, despite the fact we can see billions of light years into the past, that fossils don't exist or that the extinct forms they reflect must still be alive somewhere on earth? No thanks. The constitution says that Congress cannot establish a religion. If it is paying for religious training, how is it not establishing religion? This is exactly the issue that generated the First Amendment -- that people were being forced to pay taxes for and to attend Church of England, and what schools existed were Church of England schools. Look at where government supports particular religions. Do we want that? No.

Baltimore, MD

#4 Nov 19, 2007
Steve, your position is inconsistent. You feel that it is inappropriate to force people to fund ideas they disagree with, unless they are your ideas. I happen to agree with you that creationism is foolish, racism despicable, and that church and state should be kept definitively separate. Your criticism of vouchers has some merit. The money first has to go from taxpayers to the government which then disburses it which raises all the familiar problems associate with state funding. This is why vouchers will always be a second best solution to the question of expanding school choice. The best approach is to establish tax credits for parents paying tuition outside the public school system as well as for taxpayers wishing to donate to private scholarship granting organizations. Those wishing to send their children to or otherwise continue supporting state schools would be free to do so. Under this system, no one need pay for something with which they do not agree. Of course, it also drastically reduces the opportunity for state sanctioned indoctrination which may be something you are not prepared to allow.
A Dog Named


#5 Nov 20, 2007
Public schools are a waste of the tax dollar, parents of schoolchildren should get vouchers to send their kids to privately run schools, that way the kids learn something.

Isn't it remarkably sad that the liberal establishment has made schools that actually graduate human beings who cannot read or write.

Yes, Hillary Clinton supports public schools so if you have a brain, you won't vote for her.

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