Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Parental Choice

School vouchers are currently a topic of debate in the US. Especially after hurricane Katrina forced the relocation of so many school aged children.

Do you think school vouchers should be used in Canada?


Shawn said...

Yes. Allow people to pick and choose the education they want for their children. To quote a frequent poster in the last few days

" Should CHOICE ONLY be FOR the WEALTHY ? "


Union Member said...

As long as the money doesn't come out of the public school budget, I'm fine with but should be extended to post-secondary, also.
The Public school system is already underfunded and taking funds from it to put into "vouchers" would further disable the system rendering it to no choice put a private school.
Tony Blair has indicated that PPP are is choice in health care and education. I'm wary of it but in the current classic liberal economics of today, it may be the most pragmatic choice. As long as all are accommodated and the cost isn't prohibitive, as in subsidy for private school not full tuition, then fine.
Does that surprise you ?
Most of my policy ideas are pragmatic, I just oppose reactionary policy(IE. Gas Tax cuts).

Shawn said...

The whole point of the voucher system is to allow low income families to use a credit equivalent to the amount the government would spend on the child's education on whatever schooling they feel is most appropriate for the child. This can take the form of private school (whole or partial tuition), public school, religious institutes, whatever. An ideal system would be to allow parents to apply the money to homeschooling expenses also.

Union Member said...

Then no way, it still allows those with more money better choices. I would prefer Blair's method of competing schools but tuition is paid the government, most likely at a set rate. Either that or one public system, non-sectarian schools can run separately and privately without and public funds. As far as home schooling, I have no opinion. It would depend on each case and the curriculum but it something to think about.

Shawn said...

Guess what, those with more money will always have more choices. It does allow more chooice (relatively speaking) to those who might otherwise have none. Consider an low income family living in a poorer neighborhood. Should they desire to send their child to a school in another area, it enables them to do so. Teh idea of government paying the bills is less ideal for a couple of reasons.
1) having government take in money for this purpose and then re-dispense it incurs costs. It would require an additional level of bureaucracy which could be avoided by allowing an income tax exemption for taxpaying persons and adding a much smaller group of people to administerbenefits for welfare/social services.
2) once any level of government has money in hand, there is always the chance they will be tempted to spend it on other things instead of the intended purpose. An obvious exmple would be gas taxes.
3) governments are susceptible to public pressure/lobbying by interest groups. Leaving the money in people's hands ensures they spend it how they see fit, not according to the desires of any group (be it public school unions, corporations, or religious/secular groups).

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