“Despite Trump-DeVos claims, vouchers offer false promise to rural students by Félix Pérez Posted April 14, 2017Despite the national marketing campaign by President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, vouchers take scarce funding away from public schools, where 90 percent of students attend, and create two different education systems — one private and one public — funded by taxpayers. The risks inherent in vouchers are especially pronounced in rural areas, where there are no or few private school options, and schools often serve as the social center of the community and the sole provider of critical services such as summer lunch and programs, food pantries and sports.
Private and religious school vouchers have received increasing attention in the past few months as Trump and DeVos have traveled the country extoling their virtues. Unmentioned in their sales pitch is that vouchers would be particularly harmful in rural communities and small towns, where removing funding would destabilize already financially challenged public school systems, and transportation to the nearest private voucher school — which can be an hour away or more — must be paid for and arranged by the student’s family.
Nearly 9 million of the 50 million public school students across the country attend rural schools, finds a forthcoming report from the Rural School and Community Trust. “For rural schools, the emphasis on school choice means little because the closest schools are impossibly far away. Rural educators worry that their schools will gain very little from the school-choice model. If anything, it could siphon away critical funding,” states the organization.”
It is clear that our current system of education underserves not only poor inner-city children but children living in the rural communities of our country as well.
It is obvious that children in the United States have no choice in receiving a free and public, excellent education that concentrates on discovering, developing and directing their gifts and talents towards becoming knowledgeable, actively engaged citizens.
Until we change our current system of education to provide every child with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education, our choice of schools is irrelevant.
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