LOS ANGELES : Children’s Group Assails School Voucher Plan

A statewide children’s advocacy group has denounced the school voucher initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot as a “poorly designed experiment that could seriously undermine the quality of education for California’s children.”

In a report issued Wednesday, the group Children Now concluded that the plan to provide parents with tax-funded vouchers to pay private school tuition would not benefit the vast majority of California’s schoolchildren because it sets no standards for private schools, would siphon money from overburdened public schools, and does not include safeguards to ensure that poor children have equal access to private schools.

At the group’s news conference, Shirley Hufstedler, Secretary of Education under President Jimmy Carter, said passage of Proposition 174 “could destroy the public education system in California.”

“It is unfair to require low-income parents to help pay for private educational choices for well-to-do parents without giving low-income parents any choice for their youngsters,” she said.


But Proposition 174 campaign spokesman Sean Walsh said the measure would provide “a chance for low-income families and middle-income families with lots of children to be able to afford to get out of bad schools and into better ones.”

Children Now is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization formed in 1988 to focus attention on the needs of California’s children.