Re: the right to purse excellence
Thu, 1 May 1997 21:03:06 -0400 (EDT)


I know that others will probably answer your questions, as well, but here
goes my best shot at it. (BTW, welcome to the list!)


In a message dated 97-05-01 10:33:09 EDT, Cathy wrote:

<< And yet, I have a few niggling doubts which nonetheless worry me:

--What about poor kids living in the middle of cities -- how will they get
to good schools, if their parents can't get them there?

This is troubling, as it is now. In fact, vouchers, done properly, could
make this one better, since the money would be distributed per child
(weighted for special needs). Nowadays, inner city and rural schools, with a
lower tax base, receive less funding per pupil.

--What about places where the schools are in bad condition, or have some
other reason they can't attract students? Will they rot away because no
one has money to invest in them? How could a school with failing systems
and poor materials keep up and catch up with schools that start out better
off? What about the kids (probably poor local kids) who get stuck going
to these dying schools?

See answer above. It would also be possible to set up a fund, with part of
the money to help schools bring their physical plants up to health and safety

--What about our tendency as people to be insular? Will we end up with
White schools, Black schools, rich-kid schools, poor-kid schools,
Christian schools, Muslim schools, (...)? How are we as a people going to
deal with learning to live together if we don't see each other in schools?
After all, we begin to see this problem already in cities that have
neighborhood-school systems (not to say that bussing was any better). >>

We see this now, particularly in elite schools. We also see it as a
by-product of the ghettoizing of people on the margins of society, with fewer
resources to move to better places. Perhaps, as schools get set up with
clearer and more attractive programs and philosophies, we will see people
choosing schools by those standards. Maybe we will even see a diverse folks
in those schools. I, for one, would love to see that!