The state of Louisiana plans to use state-wide vouchers for students and it's stirring up heated debates. Basically, vouchers give families money to use at private schools.
Milton Friedman wrote about the idea of vouchers in his Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962) - he argued that vouchers would spark competition which would improve public school systems efficiencies and performance.
Currently, vouchers are loosely based on this money for private school idea but have great variation in implementation, in other words, voucher programs all have different rules. Do they allow religious schools or not? How much money? What expenses qualify? Will private schools be required to take state tests? etc.
Politically, vouchers spark extremes from rage and enthusiasm. Generally speaking, Democrats are against vouchers and Republicans are for them.
To get you up to speed, here are the biggest arguments on both sides.
Arguments FOR Vouchers
- Gives families more choice in education options
- Public schools aren't doing a good enough job
- Competition will improve public schools
Arguments AGAINST Vouchers
- Divert money away from public schools
- Religious schools should not get public money
- Private schools don't accept all students
- Private schools don't always have room for students who are using vouchers
Where do you stand on this debate and why?