What Are School Vouchers?
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School vouchers have been implemented by some Governments as a new form of a tax rebate - and it aims to follow on from the preferences that a parent might make between public and private school. As you will know, we are all taxed for the public education service - regardless of where we send our children for their education. There were criticisms that this was unfair, as a person who opted to pay for private schooling would still have to pay for the state-funded alternative. As such, a new form of tax rebate known as 'school vouchers' was made - allowing parents who would pay towards public schooling to offset this against private tuition fees instead. Some parents have found this incredibly supportive, particularly if they want the best for their child on a limited budget. Of course however, it has been met with some stiff opposition from others who have taken a different approach to the idea.
In actuality, the concept of such a scheme has been around for centuries - with the first carnations of this idea appearing in the 19th century in states such as Vermont. The vouchers were even used as a method of segregating students during the 1960s when racial discrimination was a key issue in some areas which are South of the country.
The Reagan and the first Bush administration were the two parties who were for this in the United States - and they were the authoritarians who made the push to get this implemented into educational bills.
It is believed that the benefits of school vouchers are quite well-spread, allowing for those who might be of a low income or from an unprivileged background to have the opportunity to benefit from a private education which could give them more intensive tuition. Well over 170,000 students this academic year have used vouchers in the states in which it is active, also allowing some students to attend specialized educational schemes which are based around their around individual needs - something which might not have been possible before.
Despite the fact that the scheme has been implemented, there is still a lukewarm response to this initiative which has been seen across the country. Because of the conflicting views about this concept amongst those who are of a different political stance in America, the system has been reviewed in the beginning of the 21st century to see whether it is still relevant to the students of today, or simply an ideology.
More states are beginning to adopt the idea, because school vouchers are only existent in a fraction of states. Utah has been one of the latest states to get involved, and instead of parents being taxed for the school institutions in their area, they can have the opportunity to have thousands of dollars in some circumstances directed in vouchers towards a private education. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is something which many politicians have been urging educators to consider and to explore.
More Resources On School Vouchers
- A Citizen's Guide to Education Reform
- Independent Voices for Better Education
- Organizational Development in Education
- Why School Vouchers Can Help Inner-City Children