Arthur Powers: Not 1950s plan

October 29, 2013 

There are many arguments for or against educational vouchers, but Micah Khater’s comments in his Oct. 24 Point of View piece “How school ‘choice’ means condemnation” are confused and confusing.

Khater starts by describing the 1950s Pearsall Plan, which proposed vouchers for white families, allowing them to opt for private schools in order to avoid integration. He then states that the current proposal is essentially the same, except that it is motivated by economic class rather than race. But his own description shows that the current program is just the opposite of the 1950s plan.

Whereas that plan (“which never fully came to fruition”) provided funds for relatively privileged students to choose schools outside of public education, the current plan “provides vouchers only for low-income students in the first year.” Thus the current plan seeks to provide low-income families the same option that more affluent families already have: of being able to place their children in private schools.

One may or may not think this is a good idea, but it is certainly a different idea.

Arthur Powers

Raleigh

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