Opinion: Why not give Betsy DeVos and school vouchers a try?

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivers remarks on her first day at the Department of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivers remarks on her first day at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Feb. 8.
(Shawn Thew / European Pressphoto Agency)

To the editor: I found Barbara Miner’s article slamming Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to be hysterical — not only funny, but also prone to hysteria. She accuses DeVos of having a passionate desire to replace our system of “democratically controlled public schools” with a universal voucher program. (“If you care about our public schools and our democracy, beware of Betsy DeVos and her vouchers,” Opinion, Feb. 9)

First of all, our current system is not democratically controlled. It is overseen by by public employee unions with goals that are not necessarily in line with the interests of our children. Furthermore, surveys show that most people in communities of color support vouchers. 

As far as the issue of private religious schools proselytizing, that should be the parents’ or guardians’ choice. As long as the schools meet basic state standards, how they do so should be their business. 

Stay focused here: This should be about what is in the best interest of our children and their parents. 


Jerry Glass, Lakewood


To the editor: Why the great fear of school vouchers? Democrats need to champion this uncharacteristic Republican support of Islam. 

I have seen no better idea for the use of public education funds than the shoring up of Muslim-friendly schools. Think of the benefits of schools specifically set up to indoctrinate students in Islamic teachings without the direct oversight of state law. 


Why stop at creationism when the entire Koran can be taught? Better still, all the misbehaving kids can be sent off to newly funded Islamic military schools. 

It is time for Democrats to find the most devoutly Muslim spokesperson (public education background not needed) to travel the red states to extol the true virtues of the school voucher program. It will be a message of fear they can understand.

Tom Rzeszut, Pasadena


To the editor: In a democracy, public schools are funded by taxes. A school voucher is a check drawn on that tax money and applying it undemocratically to an individual child.

Roads are also financed by taxes. However, an individual does not have the choice to receive a voucher carved from everybody’s transportation taxes to pave the street in front of only his own house. 

Just as we need consistently safe roads, we need an educated populace. When everybody bands together, our public services are strongest.

Nancy Garf Moses, Irvine


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