Will history be repeated? - Catholic Courier

Will history be repeated?

To the editor:

Over 20 years ago there was a movement asking state aid for private schools. Hearings provided intense animosity toward the private school system. Catholic parishioners holding public school executive positions bitterly assailed the concept, as they will the current initiative for tuition tax credits (see “Schools face financial future,” Catholic Courier, Aug. 3, 2005). Personal conversations with these executives indicated they felt private schools should be abolished! They weren’t concerned about children’s education, only potential monetary loss for their budgetary needs or protecting administrator salaries. They felt dilution of monies for public schools was a violation of church-state parameters.

The hearings’ format was slanted toward opponents of the concept. Common people wishing to be heard were shunted aside or had to wait until all “favored” participants were heard. Many left, knowing state legislators, school board and teachers’ unions had dictated the forum’s slate. No method for common people to provide input through written opinions was available.

Without doubt private schools deserve aid to educate children. The public school system has become an abysmal failure. Discipline parameters are nil. Government directives dictating test scores as the sole performance indicator prevent public school teachers from using innovative methods to improve skills. Ghetto areas’ private schools, particularly parochial, continually outperform public school results.

Opposition to the tax credit will repeat the above criticisms of private education. The dictatorial state legislative triumvirate leaders will prohibit discussion or structure hearings allowing only opponents to tax credits to provide input. That’s reality as education lobbyists obscure the true intention of private school.

Having been through this before, one can speculate renewal of intense animosity like before. Private school parents deserve some relief from costs to educate their children in a setting they choose.

Robert L. Landschoot

Meadow Lane

Pine City

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