A school voucher is also known as an education voucher. It is a permit issued by the government to parents allowing their children to attend private schools instead of the public schools they are assigned. Vouchers are projected to give citizens an opportunity to spend their taxes productively toward their children’s education of their choice. They do so without having to use a direct tax credit or deduction.
Public schools are usually cheap; therefore, the less financially stable people can at least get a chance to educate their young ones in good schools. The student voucher system enables these parents to access this service comfortably without them having to incur unnecessary costs. Another advantage of the student voucher system is that it eliminates instances of double payment. This means that the parents who take their kids to public schools do not have to pay for the expenses of the private schools. On the other hand, law obliges parents who take their children to private school, to pay for public school funding. This is regardless of the school they take their kids. Therefore, a parent, who has a child in a private school, is obliged to pay a fee that is double as compared to the parent in the public school. This is double payment. As a result of this, parents from private schools are able to save and invest their income as compared to those parents whose children attend private schools.
The other advantage of vouchers is they encourage free-market competition across schools. As a result of this, quality of education in the schools, which would in turn, improves. This would boost the morale of the students who mould be motivated to work hard in their classes. The outcome of this is that more students will qualify for good colleges and eventually good jobs afterwards. This means that there is higher academic outcome from the students. Because of improved performance, the vouchers act as a remedy to counter the theory that people have about public schools, which are regarded as poor performers. This will be good for the public schools as the efficiency of the public schools improves.
In addition to these, the vouchers have reduced the parents’ burden to look for funds to pay for their children’s’ education. Moreover, they come with discounted prices that are user friendly. This helps students and parents who use vouchers to reduce the consumption and increase the savings and investments. This is because, the parents to receive permits or certificates from the government allowing them to use up their tax money to educate their children in the best school available.
School vouchers have their fair share of disadvantages just like advantages. These are: The public education system is greatly undermined by the society. This is because the public schools have to rely on public funding in order to be run effectively. This has not been made easier by the introduction of the student voucher system. This results in the quality of education being offered by public schools to be undermined like poor quality. Public schools are controlled by private schools. This may lead to a decline in the number of registered students in the public schools. As a result, smart students might be locked out of school due to lack of adequate room for them. Those responsible for sponsoring the public schools claim that the student vouchers are a waste of resources. They claim that the money spent on the voucher would be better used if it were all directed to academics.
The card has restrictions. This means that the card can only be used to purchase certain selected commodities in the store. This is done in order to censor type of goods young students acquire from stores. Another disadvantage of a student voucher is that it is believed that it will weaken the performance of public schools throughout. This will happen if all the bright students are taken private schools using vouchers hence, living the weak students in the public school. This does not have to be necessarily the case. For example, in Arizona, approximately 76% of government funds dedicated to education were taken up by private schools. This already is a clear indication of how public schools are weakening.
The voucher system if not effectively monitored can be used as a tool to promote social and race discrimination. The private schools can deny students from a certain race of social class enrollment into the institution based on lack of space. This is because they are not obliged by any law to accept anyone who does not qualify according to their standards (Berends, 2009). When the voucher system is implemented, there will be a lack of accountability to the taxpayers. This is because; students in private schools who use vouchers are denied the opportunity to make the school board. This means that they do not have a way of getting to know how the funds they have diverted to the school are being used. This reduces as their accountability as they cannot challenge the boards’ decision or even offer their opinion. Taxpayers cannot vote, as far as budgetary issues are concerned, and, this is a great disadvantage to the taxpayer.
Finally, some people object to the voucher system because they believe it wills open doors to government interference in the private organization. Some parents speculate that, because of this, the private and religious schools will be gradually transformed into public schools. This is very discouraging, as it would mean that all the effort and money these parents have over the years invested has gone to waste.
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According to the information, the vouchers are the best move the government can make to improve education. This is because; it gives students an equal ground in academics irrespective of their background. In addition to this, the vouchers improve the level of education in the country. This in the end translates to people getting better grades; better jobs and eventually they help to improve the country’s economy.
The student vouchers have been a great addition to the Philadelphia community. This is because; they have enabled parents from poor households to save and invest their income rather than pay school fees. Through these investments, there is an increase in the money flow, in the economy. This leads to an increase in trade in the region. In the end, more people get jobs hence the standards of living improve drastically (Molnar, 2000).
Most of the people who take their children to public schools are from poor households. Thus, when they get an opportunity to maximize on the little income they have, they are able to use the extra money to consume. This leads to an increase in trade, which as a result, leads to the growth of towns and later of cities.
Marginalized groups in the community, for example, the African- American, are able to study in private schools. This was never the case before. Whites and blacks were segregated; they were not allowed to interact on any basis other than on the employer and employee basis. Students’ vouchers have helped the community to access good quality education at an affordable cost by everyone. This is because the vouchers are cheap and convenient to use. Once these poor students are educated, they are able to access good jobs that will help them to improve their living standards in the society. When the poor are uplifted, the overall economy improves since those individuals leaving below the poverty level reduce.