The Supreme Court ruled today that school vouchers, which allow parents essentially to opt out of the public education system, are constitutional. That may be as it is, but “constitutional” is not the same thing as “good.”
I will make out very well with school vouchers, which will allow me to apply a significant amount of my tax money — which would otherwise have gone to our local struggling publc school — to tuition at one of the very excellent private schools in our neighborhood. By the time our six-month-old twins are old enough, I’ve no doubt that New York City’s voucher program will be in place.
My kids will therefore get a great education, because we can afford to make up the difference between the voucher and tuition. But the local public school — with its low test results, high “minority” enrollment, and dedicated principal — is going to get slammed. It’s not that the other affluent white kids will leave the school; none go there now. But any incentive for the neighborhood’s educated parents to get involved in the public school is now gone, and it’s frequently parental involvement that makes the difference between a good school and a bad one.