Trivium Pursuit

Voucher Skit

By Harvey Bluedorn

Imagine a dialogue between MR. TAXPAYER and MS. VOUCHER.

We join the conversation already in progress.

MS. Voucher:
Private schools spend a lot less money to do a lot better educating than government schools. But most parents have no choice — they’ve got to send their kids to the government school.
Parents need to be free to choose where their children go to school.

MR. TAXPAYER: Amen, sister. Preach it.

MS. VOUCHER:
We need Educational Vouchers in order to empower families to send their children to the school of their choice. Then parents can take their children out of academically inferior and physically dangerous schools.

Giving parents more options will force the government schools to compete with the private schools for vouchers. Then government schools would be forced to become more efficient and more effective, and to be more responsive to the wishes of parents.

Private schools would begin to prosper with voucher money. This would give us even more educational choices, while it would decrease the financial burden upon parents who choose private schools. The overall cost of education would be driven down through increased competition, which would lessen the burden of taxes on everyone.

MR. TAXPAYER:
Now wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Right now our tax money goes for the government schools. But under vouchers our tax money will go for both government schools and private schools. Is that right Ms. Voucher?

MS. VOUCHER:
Yes, that’s right. Won’t it be great to see our tax money go for better schools!

MR. TAXPAYER:
Well, isn’t that going to take more money?

MS. VOUCHER:
Maybe.

MR. TAXPAYER:
A whole lot more money?

MS. VOUCHER:
Just where are you going with that question?

MR. TAXPAYER:
Just where are you planning to get that money?

MS. VOUCHER:
Obviously, from the new Voucher funding tax.

MR. TAXPAYER:
Who’s going to pay that tax?

MS. VOUCHER:
Well, uh, we all are, of course, but you’re overlooking the fact that people like you will be spending less of your own money on private schooling, so it should all balance out in the end.

MR. TAXPAYER:
So what you’re really saying is that: in the past I was forced to pay for the government school and I freely chose to pay for private schooling; but under Vouchers, I won’t have any choice, I’ll be forced to pay for both government and private schools.

MS. VOUCHER:
Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. But you must realize that the money will be used to help everyone, and especially the poor and less fortunate, to get a fair choice in education.

MR. TAXPAYER:
Then you’re just taking more of our money from us, in order to give some of our money back to us.

MS. VOUCHER:
Something like that.

MR. TAXPAYER:
Only you’ll first run it through the bureaucratic strainer to siphon off funds for a Voucher bureaucracy, then that bureaucracy will begin to attach strings to whatever money is left for the actual Vouchers.

MS. VOUCHER:
Wait a minute! Who said anything about strings?

MR. TAXPAYER:
You just did. You spoke of a “fair choice in education.” What do you think the new Voucher bureaucracy will define as a “fair choice?” You know what, I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut that it would not be a whole lot different from the “fair choice” they’re already offering right now in the government schools.

MS. VOUCHER:
Don’t you trust our government?

MR. TAXPAYER:
They don’t teach this anymore in government schools, but our founding fathers warned us not to ever trust the government. We must keep a diligent watch over men who use the power of government to advance their own schemes and agendas.

MS. VOUCHER:
Surely you’re not suggesting that the men in government mean to do you harm?

MR. TAXPAYER:
Whether they mean to or not is not the question. Men do many things they do not mean to do. Whether he knows it or not, every man acts according to a philosophy or a world-view. Philosophies have real-life consequences. When individual men implement their philosophies, they themselves suffer the consequences. But when men in government implement their philosophies — whether deliberately or intuitively — the whole society must suffer the consequences.

MS. VOUCHER:
So are you suggesting there is a philosophy — some hidden agenda — behind Vouchers?

MR. TAXPAYER:
Whether hidden or not, the philosophy is socialism. The Voucher scheme is built upon the philosophy that government social planners make better choices than the individual. They say they’re giving us a choice. But really, when you sort it all out, they’re forcing us to give them a choice.

MS. VOUCHER:
Surely your not suggesting we have a socialist government?

MR. TAXPAYER:
If it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, and it looks like a duck and it cooks like a duck, guess what? It’s not a chicken!

First, you’re going to take more of my money to fund your government program. That leaves me with less of my money to do with as I personally choose — like choosing to have my children taught by a non-government-approved program.

Next, you’re going to subsidize private schools. What I like about private schools is that they do what their paying customers demand — which is only right. If the government becomes a paying customer of private schools — via the Voucher — then the private schools are going to do what the government demands — which is only right, but it will also be the law, and eventually there will be severe penalties for noncompliance.

And, of course, to administer this program you will have to create the Department of Vouchers — with an army of bureaucrats — who have to justify their existence by putting their nose into everybody’s business.

MS. VOUCHER:
But the Vouchers are supposed to help parents to choose any school they want. This will force the government schools to be more competitive.

MR. TAXPAYER:
I have not doubt that this this will force both the government and the private schools to become more competitive — but for what? Not for parental approval, but for government approval — in order to get the Vouchers. We may see a brief upward blip in the quality of government schools, but in the end the private schools will be dragged into the same socialist gutter the government schools are already in. Then we’ll watch ‘em both be washed down the cultural storm sewer.

MS. VOUCHER:
Then what are we supposed to do?

MR. TAXPAYER:
First, you must recognize that there is a fundamental flaw in the whole system which you are trying to patch up with these Vouchers. You recognize that the lean mean private sector is doing a whole lot better than the over-stuffed government sector. But your solution is to try to over-stuff the private sector! You want to socialize the private sector with tax funds which you’re calling Vouchers.

If you really want to improve the academic quality of the schools, what you need to do is privatize the government sector! I don’t mean have the government hire a private company to do the job. I mean take education altogether off of government funds — those coercive, over-administered, with-all-the-strings-attached — government funds.

Now I realize that the number one budget item in every state government is education. Political power is primarily power over education. Asking politicians to give up their power is like asking a little baby to give up its new toy. They just hold on tighter and utter their first intelligible syllable, “No!”

So you’ll have to entice them with some sweet common sense.

Do you realize what would happen if we sold off the state universities, closed down the educational bureaucracy, and allowed the local school districts to dissolve into private schools? With the revenue from the sale of property and the elimination of the expensive bureaucracy you could pay off all the states debts, drastically reduce taxes, and say good bye to deficits. Then you’ll hear a giant sucking sound at the state borders as businesses rush in to take advantage of lowered tax burdens and graduates of quality private schools.

MS. VOUCHER:
But what about the “poor” who can’t afford a private school? You didn’t think of that did you?

MR. TAXPAYER:
First of all, there would be fewer such poor under the drastically lowered taxes and consequently the increased prosperity.

Secondly, the private schools would be significantly cheaper and better.

And thirdly, charity toward the education of the poor would greatly increase if for no other reason than that there would be more persons who could afford to be more charitable.

MS. VOUCHER:
What about parents who fail to have their children educated?

MR. TAXPAYER:
Keeping a child in ignorance is an abuse which should be prosecutable. Unfortunately, they don’t prosecute government school officials for doing it right now!

Once we move back to private schools, the old social morés would be restored, and that would cause a higher success rate than all the government programs you could ever imagine.

Beyond that, educational neglect is always accompanied by other abuses — there’s enough examples of this in the government system to eliminate your need to look any further. There would be no lack of grounds for others to intervene to protect a child.

MS. VOUCHER:
Sounds like it might work, but why should we turn in the opposite direction and go with a new and untried program like that. We always get results with the government program.

MR. TAXPAYER:
That’s exactly the point. Look at the results of the government program. We have a century of higher and higher costs producing lower and lower quality — and now that the quality is falling precipitously, you propose to increase the price astronomically.

What’s wrong with this picture? Simple. You can build a limited government on an unlimited culture — that’s freedom to choose, but you cannot build a limited culture on an unlimited government — that’s socialism.

Vouchers are simply a program to socialize all schools — public and private. When the government is in the driver’s seat making the decisions as to where education is going, “parental choice” becomes simply a matter of choosing a seat on the bus while they take you for a ride.

Parental choice and tuition relief are the lure. But government control is the hook. Vouchers will not make government schools more like private schools. Vouchers will make private schools more like government schools.

MS. VOUCHER:
Okay. I get it now. You just oppose education. And you oppose the government.

MR. TAXPAYER:
Not at all. I don’t oppose education, and I don’t oppose government. I just oppose government education.

The authority and responsibility for the education of children is given by God to parents, not to the government. Parents alone have a license and responsibility from God to educate their children.

Any scheme which intrudes upon the parents’ authority in education is necessarily a scheme which resists the legitimate authority ordained by God, and all who resist such authority will bring judgement on themselves. The government is operating all of its schools without a license. They are resisting the authority ordained by God. I believe all of the tokens of God’s judgement rest heavily upon this socialist experiment called government schools.

Socialized education has intruded upon the legitimate God-ordained authority of the parent. We do not need to further “socialize” it. That’s been the problem all along. We need to “privatize” education. We need to obey the word of God, rather than the schemes of men.

MS. VOUCHER:
That may sound nice, but there’s not a chance it’ll ever happen.

MR. TAXPAYER:
You’d better keep your eyes closed and your head in the sand, ‘cause I’m afraid it’s already happening. Students of government schools are being taught by parents or private tutors after school hours. They’re teaching them all the things they should be learning in school — but can’t. It’s getting to be a big business. Private schooling, including homeschooling, is growing rapidly.

Government education is dying. Karl Bunday calls his web page, “School is dead.” You’d better read the handwriting on the wall. It’s weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Get a load of these titles, written by public educators:

School is Dead by Everett Reimer
Public Education: An Autopsy by Myron Lieberman
Is Public Education Necessary? by Samuel Blumenfeld
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
The Myth of the Common School by Charles Glenn
Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich

and many more. Then there’s Marxhall Fritz’s organization, the Foundation for the Separation of School and State.

You can try to save the ravenous beast of socialized education, but you’ll never find enough tax food to feed its gluttonous habits.

It’s like the law of gravity. You can try and break it, but it’ll catch up with you in the end.

Why prolong the misery? Put it to death before it eats us alive.

Nothing will more quickly destroy independent Christian schools than state aid; their freedom and independence will soon be compromised, and before long their faith. George Bernard Shaw, atheist, Fabian Socialist, who desired to destroy independent Christian schools.

Private schools that operate with public money will be subject to public regulations. Thomas A. Shannon, Executive Director of the National School Boards Association.

“Any agency, public or private, which receives federal funds directly or indirectly through a grant or contract…or by way of a voucher” or, in short, “acceptance of Federal funds is an agreement to abide by the Requirements.” Economic Opportunity Act, 522d

2 Responses to “Voucher Skit”

  1. tony Says:

    This is awesome. I’ve always been against vouchers–but for the reason that any MORE money going through the gov’t will only encourage corruption. We have enough of that already.

    My other reason? If parents paid enough attention, their public schools would be better. Nothing is more “funny” than a city full of “liberal” parents who send their kids to…guess where? Private schools!

  2. Perla Sarmiento de Adams Says:

    Hello:

    I found this post by accident, but I really like it.

    Bye, bye

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