Letters to the Editor

Tuition vouchers would offer choice, competition

The total per-pupil spending to educate a child in South Carolina's public schools is about $11,000. In Beaufort County, it's about $14,000.

Yet some private schools can educate a child for $6,000 to $8,000.

Public schools score so low on major educational quality measures that they are failing our children. Our public school system is a monopoly whose organization is inefficient.

Only 44 cents of every state educational dollar is spent on actual classroom education, according to state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort. The rest goes to support a bloated administrative bureaucracy filled with high-paid personnel who don't work in the classroom.

Private schools direct their dollars to educating children. Within the free market, they compete with other private schools for students. Such competition promotes quality and excellence.

Public schools are mired in mediocrity, with no financial incentive to strive for excellence. When public schools want more money, they demand higher taxes. Public support of a monopoly is how we got the outrageous cost of public schools.

The state has a boatload of tax money to educate our kids. Instead of funneling all the money to public schools, give parents a tuition voucher and allow them to choose a school for their kids. Such a competitive situation would force public schools to improve.

School choices are out there. The education money is there. The state just needs to change its method of payment for education.

People don't choose to buy an inferior product. Competition and choice would greatly improve all schools.

Jane Kenny Bluffton

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