To The Daily Sun,
I share Leon R. Albushies's concern (see his March 11 letter) about our failing public schools and what that means for our society, freedoms, and prosperity. Public education has been declining for at least the last 50 years, especially since the federal government has increasingly controlled public education.
Why do our public schools provide such poor results? Are American children less capable than other children before they go to our public schools? No. Is funding the issue? No. Some schools with the worst results spend $25,000 to $30,000 per student. Public education costs have increased as fast as health-care costs, but without improvements.
Our public schools don't provide better educational results because providing better educations to our children is a lower priority than the self-interests of those in charge of public education, the educational establishment (e.g., teachers colleges, unions, administrators, teachers, government bureaucracy), and Democrat politicians.
Recognizing the importance of providing a good education to each new generation, Republicans have been championing school choice, which would allow students to escape failing and/or dangerous schools. Essentially the money that taxpayers provide to fund children's education would be directed by parents to the schools of their choice. This would break the public school monopoly and reward the schools (e.g., public, private, parochial) that provide better educations.
Unfortunately Democrat politicians fight school choice despite its popularity and success when it is available. Wealthy Democrats such as President Obama and New Hampshire Senator Hosmer send their children to the schools of their choice, but they deny the opportunity for other children to get a decent education.
One of President Obama's first acts was to stop the popular and successful school choice pilot program in Washington, D.C. In New Hampshire, Democrats fought and have tried to end the scholarship program created by Republicans to help children from poor families escape failing and perhaps dangerous schools.
Republican efforts to provide school choice so each child can get a good education are viciously opposed by Democrat politicians who benefit politically from the current back-scratching arrangement with the educational establishment. Democrats vote more money and privileges for the educational establishment which then provides political support for Democrat politicians.
Every American child will have the chance for a decent education when Republicans have enough political power to enact school choice for all over Democrat objections or when Democrat politicians decide to prioritize children's education above the self-interests of the education establishment.
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