I support the theme of Rick Manheim’s Feb. 3 Point of View “Fund private schools with private funds.”
However he suggested a special tax on business and corporations to assist low-income and minority students to attend private schools; I do not favor that. The special tax may be a good idea, but monies should not be earmarked for private schools.
Let’s adequately fund our public schools.
Let me provide you with an example of how public dollars for a school choice worked. In 1998, two colleagues and I founded a new public charter high school, called “The Sport Sciences Academy” in Hartford, Conn.
Because the other high schools were failing in their educational achievement goals, the newly mandated state charter law provided an excellent avenue for our experiment. Our budget came totally from Hartford’s Board of Education. If the per pupil state expenditure was $11,000 and we enrolled, using a lottery system, 100 students in our first class, our budget was, $1,100,000 for that year. Any additional monies came from fundraising and corporate donations. We did not nor were we in favor of any voucher system to assist us.
For the record, our classes were 50 percent Hispanic, 47 percent black, and 3 percent other with nearly a 100 percent graduation rate to post-secondary schools.
As a progressive who leans slightly to the left, I favor public school choice programs because, if structured well, they work.
David N. Camaione