Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Vouchers, Capacity, and Shrinking Public Schools

July 12, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Is there a “capacity issue” if school voucher and tax-credit programs expand, as many Republican governors and legislators intend (“Capacity Issue Looms for Vouchers,” Education Week, June 15, 2011)? Will finding “physical space” be a problem? No, and no. Why not? The answer is quite simple.

The decline in Catholic school enrollment from 5.5 million in 1965 to about 2 million today means that there is classroom space to spare. And, as the growth in private enrollment in recent years has been mainly in conservative Protestant schools, please note that there are many tens of thousands of religious education facilities in churches nationwide used only on Sundays that could easily and inexpensively be adapted for use for full-time classrooms for millions of K-12 students in voucher programs.

Make no mistake, if the public-funds spigot is opened wide for vouchers and tax credits, churches will be utilized to the maximum for private schools, schools that will inevitably be filled with kids sorted primarily by religious identification and secondarily by ideology, ethnicity, and degree of special need. When and if this happens, public education will shrink to serving mainly the poor and disadvantaged, the teaching profession will degenerate, and education in America will sink to worse than mediocrity.

We must not let this happen.

Edd Doerr

President

Americans for Religious Liberty

Silver Spring, Md.

A version of this article appeared in the July 13, 2011 edition of Education Week as Vouchers, Capacity, and Shrinking Public Schools

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: March 20, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 13, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 21, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read