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Letter to the Editor: School voucher supporters short-sighted

NewsLeaderSchool voucher supporters miss the whole point of a public school education. While learning facts, figures and letters can probably occur in any setting, what one learns in our public schools goes much further. With a curriculum that includes a strong emphasis on civics and government, public schools are often the first (and often only) contact that our children have with the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.

The shared public school experience helps to develop and encourage in our children a sense of national unity and common purpose. This may be the only chance that children of often very different backgrounds learn to work together in a venue that is a powerful tool for assimilation. Being exposed to a diversity of ideas, opinions and people is also vital in encouraging a culture of scholarship, openness and tolerance that is so critical to the success of any free and democratic society. Public schools are one of the last remaining institutions in our nation that allows us to live out our national motto of E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one).

Let’s be honest here and admit that the school voucher movement is really all about the public funding of private schools to expand their market share and create self segregated schools. This “Balkanization” of education promises to adversely affect the large majority of our children by robbing funds from their education to give it to an often select and privileged few. The result will be a counterproductive and highly dysfunctional educational caste system.

Michele Edwards, a seasoned educator who is currently running for Virginia's District 20th, is very familiar with the importance of a public school education. Rather than destroy our schools through neglect and defunding, she opposes school vouchers and has vowed to support and improve public education for the value that it provides our nation. A vote for her is a vote for your children and their future.

MIKE RADOIU
Staunton

Article in the Staunton NewsLeader


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