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Re: "Proposed federal budget cuts would take money from public to give to private schools"


I was surprised to see such a biased article on the front page of the paper on June 21, 2017. The article titled, “Proposed federal budget cuts would take money from public to give to private schools,” should have been in the opinion section.

Rather than just reporting on the proposed budget and giving the details, the author wrote it with an obvious left wing slant. The author mentions something about jeopardizing the separation of church and state. First of all, this is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. The 1st Amendment prohibits Congress from making a law respecting an establishment of religion, and it prohibits them from prohibiting our free exercise of religion.

A voucher system would give more choice back to parents regarding their children’s education. Allowing a parent to send their children to a religious private school is one example of the free exercise of religion. Don’t forget that the public school system is funded by our tax money. Shouldn’t we have more say in where our children go to school?

The article quotes Elise Aguilar as saying, “public funds should be for public schools.” A better statement would be public funds should be for the use of the public. This is reflected by who we elect to make policy.

The article also mentions that some schools may discriminate against LGBTQ students. Is this the only group of concern when it comes to discrimination? I guess other groups don’t matter, especially if they have a different opinion than those who agree with this article. There is a weak attempt to demonize all private and charter schools by mentioning one voucher school that failed to teach students how to read (no other facts were given on this). Most private and charter schools are held to rigorous accreditation standards and outperform many public schools.

The Chicago Tribune published an article referencing an in-depth examination by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford on charter school performance in Chicago. The Tribune stated the following: “The report shows greater learning gains in both reading and math for elementary charter school students compared to their counterparts in traditional public schools. The effects of the charter public schools on student performance is even more significant for low income and minority students, especially African-American and Latino students who have been historically underserved.”

According to an article on how U.S. students compare with their peers around the world, written by the Pew Research Center on February 15, 2017, “Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicate that U.S. students continue to rank around the middle of the pack, and behind many other advanced industrial nations.”

With the amount of tax money spent on education, we should be ahead of all nations. Obviously it is not a matter of spending more money. We should look at where the money goes, along with giving parents more choices.

The funny thing is that the Department of Education is not mentioned in the Constitution; therefore education should fall under the 10th Amendment, which puts it in the hands of the individual states. Hopefully this letter makes it to the opinion page, which is where the front page article from last week should have been placed.

Chip Cathcart

Coulee Dam

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