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Saturday, December 20, 2014

If you don't support vouchers it doesn't mean you are heartless.

As a teacher I disagree with fellow teacher Marlene Desdunes op-ed in the Miami Herald on vouchers and not just because I am heartless. There are many legitimate concerns people should have about vouchers like how they resist both financial and academic accountability and until those issues are resolved it’s beyond me why anybody would support vouchers in the current form but okay earnest people can disagree.

My question is since the vouchers are supposed to be for the neediest of the needy, how is Desdunes family even eligible. According to public records her salary as a school teacher is between 44 and 49 thousand dollars. She writes in her piece which could have been taken right form the Step up for Students, the group that administers the vouchers, FAQ page: “These scholarship children come from homes where the average income is only 5 percent above poverty.” Since her salary nearly doubles what qualifies for poverty, how is her daughter who she says receives a scholarship even eligible?

Therein lies the problem. Vouchers may have been sold as saving poor kids from failing schools but they are being transformed into a replacement for public education and I remind you once again about the almost complete lack of accountability that they have.

I believe as a school teacher Desdunes is way under paid and I will take her word for it that her daughter’s school is wonderful but at the end of the day how many voucher schools are wonderful, how many are providing an adequate education, how many are using the money sent to them properly? The truth is nobody knows because the system was willfully set up that way and wanting to know does not make people heartless. 

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