Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear Editor

Dear Editor:

The Columbia Tribune’s article “Voucher Movement Past its Prime” depicts the voucher struggle as one to give up on. However, vouchers are not the sole focus of this fight in Missouri and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Utah’s state wide voucher program did not pass. This is not a reason to give up the crusade for better education. The Utah situation was negatively affected by unions telling falsifications about vouchers. This problem is not excusive to Utah; it is happening all over the country by anti-choice groups. This is a devastating problem, one in which the children suffer.

The choice movement is Missouri is not solely focused on vouchers; the focus is on issues such as allowing parents the right to chose their child’s education, ensuring better and more education options for all children, focusing on special needs issues, and virtual learning programs. These areas can help children find an education program that can meet their specific needs.

School reform needs to open its eyes to other options, and not keep trying things that continue to fail. Quality education providers are crucial to the children getting the best education they can, the education they deserve. Children in some districts suffer more than others and that is not fair to anyone. The unaccredited school districts need help now; they need choices now.

The article did acknowledge that children need “wider choices of education services”. That is what Missouri is aiming for as well. Missouri is striving to allow parents and the children have more options that fit their needs, allowing a child to transfer if need be. Unfortunately, this does not happen freely in Missouri. The St. Louis Public School district is unaccredited and many of those children are stuck in those failing schools. The devastating and detrimental effect this will have on those children needs to be addressed immediately.

Parents chose many things for their children through their lives, education choice should be their right.

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