To the Editor:
In your Sept. 5, 2007, edition, Paul T. Hill writes that we are, to quote the title of his Commentary, “Waiting for the ‘Tipping Point’” that school choice could offer. He says that school choice is proving to be harder than expected, and that it is not challenging public education significantly. I certainly agree with him that choice makes parents full partners in education. But I suggest that we will not reach the “tipping point” until all parents have full choice over the education of their children.
An integral part of the choice debate is the role that independent and religious schools play. That choice is not available to all, however, and those who choose such schools for their children do so at great sacrifice.
Catholic schools have proven for hundreds of years that they offer a quality academic program, and do so at a fraction of the cost per pupil that the public schools spend. The schools within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, N.Y., follow the state’s standards, administer state assessments, and award Regents diplomas. Yet efforts to secure some assistance for parents who exercise this choice have proved minimal.
So, until the financial resources are available to parents to choose any school for their child, the “tipping point,” I believe, will not be reached.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 2007 edition of Education Week as ‘Tipping Point’ for Choice Awaits Full Funding Equity