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Your Opinion: School vouchers preferable to increased taxation

Your Opinion: School vouchers preferable to increased taxation

April 5th, 2013 by Phil Garcia, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

All day Wednesday I had a spring in my step after reading the headline, "Voters defeat both school issues." Way to go Jeffersonians. By spitting out this proposal rammed down our throats, you said: enough is enough. Let's put the 800-lb. federal gorilla on a diet.

Do I hate kids? Do I hate teachers? Do I hate education? Nope. But I sure hate working 197 days every year to meet federal, state, city and local taxes (Cost of Government Center). And public schools are a big part of this since they are totally funded by money pilfered from our pockets.

This is the primary reason why government schools cost up to twice as much private and church-affiliated schools. Instead of families, communities and educators making decisions, we have an 800-lb. gorilla giving orders.

The average cost of federal education for one student for one year in 2009 was $10,499. That's $126 thousand for K-12. How many of us can afford that?

What to do? I am convinced that the school voucher system will be a great step forward. As the deficiencies of public education multiply, more and more church affiliated schools are coming on board, and competition for students will automatically force costs down and also improve the quality of the education. (By the way, where are the days when kids could safely walk or bike to school? When and why did sidewalk requirements for new construction disappear?)

The Cato Foundation has an excellent suggestion based on the fact that the 800-lb. federal gorilla has no constitutional authority "to determine the content, methods, testing or staff procedures of American schools." It suggests that all existing federal K-12 education programs be converted into block grants to the states. Then "phasing them out over three years ... giving states the time to reallocate their own personnel and resources. ... and proportionately reducing federal income taxes, saving tax-payers money that was previously being spent on ineffective federal programs ... At the end of the three-period, Americans would be enjoying a permanent $70 billion annual tax cut."

I have the greatest respect for the work of the Cato Foundation, and this sounds like a winner to me.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." - 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.