In your editorial, "Spread the Reward Around," March 18, about Theodore Forstmann's scholarships, you suggest he could have put the money to better use by rewarding good public schools and/or helping parents take advantage of the Los Angeles school district's open enrollment by subsidizing the students' transportation.
If Forstmann's only goal was to increase the quality of education for students, this might be worthy, but he has another point to make in his gesture: If given a choice, many poor parents will opt out of the public school system. His scholarships bring to light that the public school monopoly is a poorly run business from the consumer point of view. Given that at least 10% of the consumers in Washington, D.C., according to the editorial, would choose to opt out of the public education monopoly if they could, perhaps our education departments and government representatives will finally get the message that public education isn't working. We need to seriously consider moving toward privatization.
CHARLES E. ROSS
* Re "L.A. Students Get Offer of Private-School Vouchers," March 17:
Here we go again. Another well-intentioned but ill-advised multimillionaire proffering an idea to help the less fortunate children in the inner city: Private schools are the panacea for the ills inherent in the education system of the United States.
Does Forstmann really believe that a child with attention deficit disorder will not have ADD in a private school? Does Forstmann really believe that a child from a gang-related environment will not be exposed to those same conditions at the end of the day if he or she attends a private school?
JOSEPH R. HEALEY