School Choice, Public Schools

A letter-writer in The Wall Street Journal‘s Wednesday Letters section is opposed to Educational Savings Accounts that Texas parents could use to send their children to private schools.

School choice in Texas will benefit no one except those who already pay for private school. Moving to public funding of private schools will also tend to resegregate society. Our state-level elected officials are doing the bidding of billionaires in- and out-of-state who have other agendas than excellence in our public schools.

School choice will greatly benefit the children, especially those in families on Texas’ lower economic rungs, by letting them escape from failing public schools. Nor is it an either-or choice; the one leads to improvements in the other. School choice, from that competition, will greatly benefit those children remaining in public schools.

That success, far from increasing segregation, will contribute to decreasing it. The majority of those kids on the lower rung are from minority families. Being increasing their ability to compete academically, they’ll be better able to compete for jobs, and for promotions once employed, as adults. That more even competition is the stuff of desegregation.

The idea that no one but a few billionaires will benefit is just so much irrational hype.

He concluded with:

Let’s put public funding of private schools to a statewide vote.

We just did. In the Republican primaries and the runoffs in some of those primaries, public funding won very widespread support. We will again soon: school choice will be on the ballot again this November. Those State-level elected officials, elected in the primaries and will be elected in the general election, having campaigned on the matter, are much more likely to do the bidding of those who hired and will hire them—their constituents—than were Texas to maintain the status quo with its politicians in November.