Education Letter to the Editor

Friedman Rebuts Claims Made in Voucher Letter

September 13, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Herewith a brief comment on the letter to the editor from Edd Doerr in your July 27, 2005, issue. (“Friedman ‘Willfully Ignores’ Voucher Damage,” Letter, July 27, 2005)

Doerr: Vouchers would “raise schooling costs.”

Fact: Vouchers would lower schooling costs. The voucher amount has always been a fraction—typically about half—of the cost of educating a student in public schools. A voucher student costs taxpayers less than a student in a public school.

Doerr: Vouchers would “seriously damage the teaching profession by imposing religious tests on teachers.”

Fact: Vouchers would be usable in all schools. Many, if not most, voucher schools would be nonsectarian. There would be no religious test imposed at such schools. Children would attend parochial schools only if their parents believed that was the best school for them.

Doerr: Vouchers would “promote and subsidize the fragmentation of school populations along sectarian, class, ethnic, and ideological lines.”

Fact: It would be hard to do a better job of that than our present system does. Universal vouchers would lead to far less segmentation than a system of assigning students by geography.

Milton Friedman

Senior Research Fellow

Hoover Institution

Stanford, Calif.

A version of this article appeared in the September 14, 2005 edition of Education Week as Friedman Rebuts Claims Made in Voucher Letter