Post Dispatch’s Criticism Of Sen. Chappelle-Nadal Misses the Mark
Patrick Gibbons, public affairs manager for Step Up for Students – Florida’s only tax credit scholarship organization – has a great critique of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s tirade against Missouri Sen. Maria Cappelle-Nadal (D-Dist. 14).
The newspaper editors declared Sen. Chappelle-Nadal to be “clueless on the value of public schools.” They expounded on that value by discussing the ways public schools benefit the general public, including increasing home values, greater economic development, higher incomes and more. Naturally, an educated population improves the greater public good.
But those public benefits don’t magically disappear if more kids are educated at private schools using publicly funded vouchers (or even privately funded tax-credit scholarships). The benefit ensues WHEN students are educated, NOT because of WHERE they are educated.
If privately funded vouchers improve educational options for children (and the vast majority of research says they do), then society is better for it. Society is worse off if we eliminate options for students struggling in schools simply because newspaper editors and politicians are concerned about the geography of where the education occurs.
Gibbons is absolutely correct. The goal of public education is advanced when students receive a quality education, not when public schools educate more students. This goal can be advanced by providing students with opportunities to attend quality schools, regardless of who operates the school.
Joy Pullman, of the Heartland Institute, joins Gibbons in criticizing the editorial board. To read her piece, click here.