Giroux: Vouchers Can Improve Public Education in San AngeloOpinion
OPINION — In reply to Mr. Currie we again have an individual who is using his position to endorse one non-partisan candidate over another. Why don’t we allow the superintendent to weigh in on who he thinks is the better choice, too?
I respect Mr. Currie’s opinion and his right to have one, however, he should not have interjected his party chairmanship it into this race. Mr. Currie made mention that at a forum conducted by him and the democrat party I came out for school vouchers. This is a true statement. I do support school vouchers.
Mr. Currie is mistaken, however, when he says vouchers are a violation of the First Amendment. He loved to talk about the “separation of church and state,” but he needs some education on it. This First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”
The term “separation of church and state” comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote after serving in office. The only thing the First Amendment says is that our federal government cannot enforce a religion or pass laws against the free exercise of religion. This has nothing to do with school vouchers.
Mr. Currie claims tax dollars should stay with the public schools because it is government money. Where does he think the government gets that money? It is our money that they take from us in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, user fees and so on. This is our money for our children. Why shouldn’t the money follow the student wherever they choose to attend school?
Competition has been proven over and over to increase the quality of whatever it is dealing with. Mr. Currie builds homes. He’s in competition with other builders to sell his homes. So he will add things in his homes here and there to make them better and more desirable to individuals looking for new homes. Because he strives to build the best homes in San Angelo this causes other builders to come up with better, more desirable homes. This is why the houses being built today look different from the homes built in the 1960.
The same can be said for education. Right now, the private schools in San Angelo compete to get students. They do that by offering the best opportunity possible for the students. Every student in San Angelo deserves that education whether or not the parents can afford to pay out of pocket for a private school. Vouchers allow this because the money follows the student. At present public schools are not really competing with anyone. Competition will make all public schools better.
As for the comment by Mr. Currie that I did not attend public school here, it is true. My father was in the U.S. Air Force. We moved around. We finally made it to San Angelo, settled down and now call this home. I was a product of the public school system until we came to San Angelo. When I was enrolling at Lake View High School in 1991, the gentleman, whose name I do not remember at this point, was very rude and belittling towards me because I wanted to take shop class as an elective. His question to my father and me was when I was planning on dropping out!
We were stunned by this attitude from the school. So it is the public school system that helped me on my way to a private school education. I graduated 6th in my class and went on to become a master electrician and own my own company.
No student should have to go thru what I did from a public school administrator. That’s why we need to make sure every student, no matter whether or not they plan to go to college, is afforded the same opportunity for advancement in shop programs, STEM programs or any other path that does not lead to college.
I think Mr. Currie and I want the same outcomes for our children, an excellent education. I think the San Angelo ISD can do better. Mr. Layman has had his chance. I sincerely believe I can help do better.
More opinion pieces on the San Angelo ISD school board election on May 4:
- County Republican Chair Weighs in on School Board Election
- Candidate Chris Giroux Responds to Republican Chair
- Tom Green County Democratic Party Chairman Endorses Lanny Layman for School Board
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