Fear of the Voucher

Let me ask you all a hypothetical question to mull over for a moment.

If you have a business in town that you are unhappy with what do you do?  If you are like most people, you stop using that business.

Likewise, if there is a business in town that you feel gives over the top service and delivers a better product, what then do you do?  In this case most of us continue to us that business and in fact recommend it to others.

Last question to mull over, what if that business grows too expensive compared to others providing the same product or service?  Most people here would shop around for better rates and find a new company they are happy with.

Now what if you only had a choice in your town of one choice for that business and a gun was put to your head to force you into paying for their product regardless of which of the above it falls into?

That's what happens with government provided solutions to problems, you can't shop around for cheaper or better options so you best hope it falls into the second question's grouping.

Then along comes vouchers for education.  If you read our friends over at Blue Hampshire you would think that by introducing choice in your child's education the sky would fall.

Instead of discussing facts about school choice improving education, which a study by the Department of Education proved is the case, they instead attempt to derail discussions away from what I would consider the most import fact.  Does education improve under vouchers?  Yes, it has every single place it's been tried.

So instead what issues does Blue Hampshire feel outranks what methods provide the best education to our children?

Whether or not vouchers could be used to fund religious schools.

Considering Democrats have no problem forcing people to fund abortion which is clearly against most religious beliefs I find it a bit hypocritical for them to play this card.

The US Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The part I have in bold seems to be the part Democrats often forget.  The constitution does stop government from establishing religion but it also makes it clear people of religious belief can exercise that belief freely.  If that includes having their children learn in an environment that blends God with education then that is a Constitutional right.

The New Hampshire Constitution has the following regarding religion:

Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

If you follow the links in Blue Hampshire's article they point to a editorial which uses the following argument:

New Hampshire's Constitution specifically says that "no money raised by taxation shall ever be granted or applied for use of the schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination," and also holds that "no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any sect or denomination."

Interestingly the writer choose to leave off part of Article 6.  Here's the full statement in the state Constitution, notice the part I put in bold:

As morality and piety, rightly grounded on high principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society, therefore, the several parishes, bodies, corporate, or religious societies shall at all times have the right of electing their own teachers, and of contracting with them for their support or maintenance, or both. But no person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of any sect or denomination. And every person, denomination or sect shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any one sect, denomination or persuasion to another shall ever be established.

The second letter Blue Hampshire linked to, found in full HERE,  shows why this part is important:

And they will propose an "education tax credit" to fund private schools.

See the key word in bold.

No one if being forced into fund anything against their will, instead people and businesses (in the form of scholarships) can use their own money to choose what they feel is best for children.

The letter continues raising red herrings such as this one:

There is no requirement that the private schools perform well in educating their students.

I ask again, if a business provides poor service will you continue to use it or recommend it to others?  Free market can and does force private schools to perform well.

We already see public schools fail and yet the parents in those neighborhoods have no choice but to either sell their homes, pay extra for private school which in some cases they cannot afford to do, or sit back and watch their children suffer in a failing school.

This next statement in the letter is an interesting one:

This is a huge program that, as written, could grow dramatically, from funding more than 7,000 students in the first year to 17,000 in the fifth year, when it could cost the state $36 million a year.

It could cost the state $36 million a year?

The cost of the public education system would go down if fewer kids were in the system not to mention as more private schools (ie private businesses) spring up around the state they unlike a public school, have to pay taxes generating new revenue into the state and local governments.

You will also hear supporters earnestly advance the fiction that it is really private money going to schools. Don't believe it.  The tax credit is just a legal maneuver to overcome court challenges. These millions are coming straight out of our pockets.

Wow, how many times have we heard Democrats claiming tax credits on money people never paid in to the system isn't taxing the rest of us but instead is a tax "cut" for the poor?

The key difference here is this is private money staying in the hands of the person or company that earned it in the first place... that doesn't cost the rest of us anything.  It's the government spending that costs us money.  In fact a tax credit isn't even a tax, it's a tax cut allowing the person to keep their own money.

I just love how they continue:

Why spend state money enticing students out of the public system?

I state again, allowing people to keep their own money isn't state spending that money.  It's the person who earned it choosing how to best spend their own money.  Only in the world of liberals does allowing someone to keep what's theirs equate to "spending money".

The letter concludes arguing against claims made by some Republicans that NH schools are "lousy" (their term) and goes on to defend the state school system.

Here I actually agree with the letter writer.  Most NH schools are outstanding, that's one of the reasons I moved to this state and given the choice right now I would keep my kids in the school they are already in.

But one size doesn't fit all.  When it comes to education, everyone learns differently so while my children do well in the school they are in other children may excel in a different education environment.  That's not to say one school is lousy and another good but that one may provide better service based on a child's educational learning style.  In fact one of my son's teachers actually told my wife and I that his style of learning isn't one public schools cater too and that he would be better in a private school catering to his style of learning.