To the Editor:
In his Oct. 12, 2005, letter to the editor (“Free-Enterprise Answers in the Hurricane’s Wake?,” Oct. 12, 2005), economist John Merrifield recommends “free enterprise” as the answer to Louisiana’s school problems. I assume “free enterprise” is code for school vouchers.
We’ve been through this repeatedly in California (1982, 1993, 2000). Each time, and by ever greater margins, voters have rejected vouchers—by 71 percent to 29 percent in 2000—despite the fact that Proposition 13 has seriously damaged our public schools. The same voter rejection of vouchers by large margins has occurred in many other states, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and in states in between, including Louisiana.
Public schools are the backbone of our democracy. They need help, not destruction.
A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2005 edition of Education Week as Public Schools Need Help, Not Destruction