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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letters to the Editor

Voucher proponent misinformed
The second part of Mr. Lind’s letter to the editor of March 16th addresses HB 610, which concerns the proposed school voucher program. His claim that this bill will help the underprivileged be able to attend better private schools through the voucher program is misinformed.
With just a little bit of research, I was able to discover some very disturbing facts about voucher programs. Last year, in Maryland, the $5 million voucher program (called BOOST) gave 78 percent of its vouchers to students already attending private schools and therefore did not serve the underprivileged. In Indiana, where a statewide voucher program exists to very mixed reviews, the Indianapolis Star reported that the majority of students, who received vouchers during the 2015-16 school year, had never actually attended public schools and again the voucher program did not serve the underprivileged.
The 2015 voucher program in Nevada as reported in The Atlantic on Feb 2, 2017 “found a vast majority of applicants were not from low-income areas, but the wealthiest neighborhoods … in fact, applicants came disproportionately from neighborhoods that already had access to the highest performing public schools.”
To make the argument for HR610 worse, last month an article in the LA Times reported that math and reading scores declined for students who switched from public to private schools under voucher programs in Indiana, Ohio and Louisiana.
Do not be fooled, voucher programs do not benefit poor students and in fact will likely harm their education. Vouchers generally do not cover the full tuition of private and charter schools, so an underprivileged student’s family would still have to come up with the funds to pay the balance. This is not very likely for most poor families.
Redirecting funds away from public schools to voucher programs will adversely impact public schools, which the vast majority of underprivileged students currently attend and will continue to attend.
You must look beyond the title of the bill, beyond the claims of the politicians, and see for yourself the results for those states, which have tried voucher programs, and you will find that these programs have not lived up to promises. Sometimes legislation is proposed to encourage some desired outcome with little evidence as to whether it may achieve that goal.
There is a lot of evidence out there regarding school vouchers, which indicates that HR 610 will not help poor students who attend underperforming schools, but instead simply take money away from their public school education.
Regardless of party affiliations, we must make sure children can receive an excellent education in our public schools. Today without a voucher program, parents can choose to send their children to public schools, or private schools, or to home school.  
This choice exists today, HR610 notwithstanding.
By the way, I am not affiliated with any educational union and I am a registered Republican. I am also a grandfather and I care about all the students in our country.
Joe Jankowski

Commending Pines directors
The property owners in Ocean Pines voted for a new regime on the board of directors at the last election. They were tired of the way things were being done. That is the most important fact.
Mike Graves
Ocean Pines