According to Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Associate Professor of Education, University of Cincinnati, school voucher programs place individual interest over the common good. The conclusion of Dr. Stitzlein’s Cincinnati Enquirer OpEd article is that SB 85 (the almost-universal voucher bill pending in the Senate Education Committee) is the wrong choice for Ohio.
Expanding school choice via free market ideology, a system that has served our country well in other areas, is appealing. But, it should only be used in the context of education when research and evidence demonstrate its usefulness for real children, schools, and communities. The reality is that this bill, and others like it, aren’t good for many students, taxpayers, or our democratic community.
Obviously, parents want the best for their children. That’s why some parents decide to use vouchers to send their children to private schools. But the results achieved by vouchers are mixed at best and are often quite worse.
Federal and state policy must create a balance between individual interests and the common good. The common good is upended by SB 85. This bill would make three out of four students in Ohio eligible for vouchers.
The Ohio Constitution requires the state to secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools. State officials should focus on the common school districts.
William L. Phillis, Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding