Debate Over School Vouchers

In response to "Try 'Choice' Among Public Schools," Commentary, Feb. 12:

It is sadly amusing to see the familiar fat cats of the educational Establishment rush to adopt "choice"--but only in public schools, please. As a professor who must repair damage done in the public schools, I find it cynical for LEARN members to suddenly start advocating restructuring and some kind of undefined choice now, when they opposed it for decades.

They claim to see "light at the end of the tunnel" but all studies show decline in public education quality. They claim that magnet schools are a big success, but every parent knows it's just another system of separating the promising from the neglected, powerless masses.

And of course they finish with a plea for more money, though education takes half our state budget already, and per-pupil spending in inflation-adjusted dollars has risen 30% in the last two decades. We need new ideas, not new money--and vouchers deserve a try.

GREGORY BENFORD

Laguna Beach

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