We were dismayed to read about state Rep. Paul Stam's proposal (HB 41) for a refundable tax credit for parents to send their children to private school. Our objections to this bill are numerous but, at the core, we object to using our tax money to fund private school education.
Public education has been one crucial equalizer across races, cultures and socioeconomic status. We, as a society, should be willing to allocate what is needed in the way of public funds to ensure the high quality of education for all segments of our society. To weaken it by siphoning off resources to other, less well-proven and accountable alternatives is unacceptable.
We should be ashamed of efforts to design a situation where there are parallel but unequal education systems. We would create an unfair playing field as long as private schools can pick their students and are exempt from many of the regulations required of public schools. In this scenario, public schools will lose students, support, funding and more.
It is time for all of us to take measure of what is important to our quality of life, and if public education for all our young citizens is not, then woe is us.