Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dunn Daily Record: Perdue Advances Dishonest Argument

In case you missed it...

Dunn Daily Record
June 23, 2008

Perdue Advances Dishonest Argument

Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue - who is now running for governor - owes much to the North Carolina Association of Educators, the primary agenda of which is to fight every effort to allow parents to choose which schools their children will attend.

Wealthy parents, of course, can choose any school for their children. And there is growing support for the idea of giving that choice to all parents, not just the wealthy. And it would be easy to do. For an amount much smaller than is spent to send a student to a public school, a parent could be given a voucher that could be used in any school.

And as long as the amount of the voucher is less than the current per-pupil public school expenditure, those remaining in public schools would actually benefit.

Let's say it costs $5,000 per year to send a child to a public school (the real number is higher). And then let's say we offer parents a $2,500 voucher. So for every parent who uses a voucher for her child, there would be an additional $2,500 available for the remaining public school children.

To extend this illustration, if just 1,000 students were to take advantage of such vouchers, there would then be an additional $2.5 million for the remaining children. Just imagine how much more per child North Carolina's public schools would have if 10,000 vouchers were used; Or 100,000.

Still, the NCAE makes the intellectually dishonest argument that vouchers would somehow make public schools poorer. The only way that could possibly happen would be for the amount of the voucher to be larger than the per-pupil public school expenditure.

There's only one organization that might be weakened if vouchers were adopted: The NCAE, which would end up with fewer dues-paying members. So candidates who receive a coveted endorsement from the politically powerful NCAE know they must also repeat the group's dishonest argument. And that is exactly what Lt. Gov. Perdue did this weekend. …

Click here to view the full article...