Along with charter schools, vouchers provide parents a say in how their tax dollars are spent for the education of their children.

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, in the 2017-2018 school year, per-pupil expenditures for Moore County schools by funding source State/County/Federal were $5893/$2522/$937 (total $9352). If families were provided a voucher equal to half this amount — about $4600 per pupil per year — most could afford to educate their children in private or home schools. Taxpayers would save an equal amount.

Competition for these dollars would lead to many education options, both for pupils as well as job opportunities for educators.

Competition improves all who choose to compete. Society and businesses profit from smarter graduates. Vouchers are not a new concept. Vermont has used these effectively through its “Town Tuitioning Program” since 1869.

Americans love choice and reward businesses that provide them the greatest value for their hard-earned dollars. Education should be no different.

Kent Misegades, West End

(9) comments

Kent Misegades

Another outspoken opponent of vouchers for poor families is Democrat Governor Roy Cooper. One of his daughters graduated from St. Mary’s in Raleigh, annual cost to attend is $55,000. The handful of expensive schools like this skew the average annual cost for private schools but do not change the fact that a $4,200 annual voucher would help families find more options and would also save taxpayers money. Vouchers take not one cent away from government schools as there is no cost to them for pupils not attending these schools.

Jim Tomashoff

Per usual, Kent provides us with deliberately misleading information. St. Mary's is a female only school. Further, the tuition to send your child to St. Mary's is about $27,000, unless you opt for full-time boarding at the school, then it's close to $55,000. This is what Kent does, he lies, he provides half-truths, and asserts conclusions, which he is entitled to do, but they are almost always unsupported by facts. But Kent, like Kellyanne Conway, believes in "alternative facts," aka fabrications.

Kent Misegades

Another opponent of vouchers is former President Barack Hussein Obama, who ended vouchers in D.C. for low-income families. President Trump restored these in 2017. The Obamas chose to educate their daughters at the private Sidwell Friends School, where the annual tuition 2018-2019 is $40,840. But Obama denied vouchers to low-income families that would allow them more school choice.

Kent Misegades

Constructive criticism of government institutions is generally labeled as 'hate' by those who fear competition and smaller governments. Odd, that left-leaning Vermont has enjoyed success with vouchers for 150 years with little criticism from the friends of big government.

Jim Tomashoff

Kent states: "Odd, that left-leaning Vermont has enjoyed success with vouchers for 150 years with little criticism from the friends of big government." I think Kent is deliberately suggesting that Vermont allows vouchers to be used at the discretion of the student's parents to offset the cost of sending their child to a private school, including a religious school, instead of sending their child to a public school. This is what Vermont does: "The school voucher program provides educational options for students whose towns do not have public schools. The sending town pays school tuition directly to the “receiving” school, which can be any public or private, non-religious school in or outside Vermont." The receiving school cannot be a religious affiliated school. Further, the government of Vermont will only pay an amount equal to what the average cost of sending a child to a public school is in the State. See the difference between me and Kent. I bother to find out what the actual facts are. I then provide readers to a link that will verify what I found. Further, I don't try to deliberately mislead readers to buttress a political point of view that I might have. In other words, Kent is deliberately dishonest, and is so in most every comment he makes or letter to the editor he writes, and that this is so can be objectively determined.

Kent Misegades

From the highly regarded Carolina Journal: First on the list is the myth that private schools are not affordable. “The average private elementary day school tuition was $4,889 among schools that responded to our survey,” Stoops said. “The average private middle day school tuition was $5,410. The average private high school tuition was $5,916. Recognizing that some families have difficulty paying for fees and tuition, over two-thirds of all private schools reported that they offered financial aid.” This data is a few years old. The largest network of independent private K-12 schools, the Thales Academy, charges $5300 annually for K5 and $6000 for JH/HS with no other source of funding. The majority of NC families have annual pre-school expenses in excess of the average cost of private K5 schools. This spending combined with a $4000 annual voucher would easily cover even the more expensive schools. Most of the recipients of the state's current voucher program (opportunity scholarship grants) are from low-income families. Universal vouchers would lead to rapid growth in private offerings and with this even greater quality and all kinds of options. This is how free markets work. Education should be no different.

Jim Tomashoff

"If families were provided a voucher...equal to about $4600 per pupil per year — most could afford to educate their children in private or home schools.." So says Kent. So I decided to do some research. I performed a Google search for "Private or Religious Schools in Moore County, NC." Here are the results: These schools all offer small discounts for additional children enrolled. The figures cited are for the first child enrolled in the school. Kent's scheme would cover the cost of sending one child to either Calvary Christian School ($2,722 - $3,146 per child depending on grade) or Covenant Prepatory ($3,500 - $3,900 depending on grade) Are the other private or religious schools as affordable? No they are not. The Episcopal Day School's tuition is $9,500. The O'Neal School's tuition is between $11,000 and $17,900 depending on grade level. St. John Paul II Catholic School charges $6,360 for tuition, while the Sandhills Classical Christian School's tuition ranges from $8,550 to $9,580 depending on grade level. Readers can assess for themselves whether MOST families in Moore County can afford to send their child or children to these schools as Kent asserts provided that his voucher plan is implemented.

Jim Tomashoff

There is a huge assumption in Kent's reasoning. He argues that most people could afford private schools if they received the voucher in the amount he stipulates. Really? I'm not ready to buy-in to Kent's assumption. Kent is only interested in getting the children of middle-class families and above into private schools. The children of the poor will still not be able to afford to pay the balance needed to send their children to a private schools. Kent knows this, and that is his unstated intention. As he has stated in several previous comments over the year, he has no interest in bettering the lives of what he calls "takers," his only interest is increasing the political power and social influence of "makers." He includes himself in this category, of course.

Jim Tomashoff

Kent has railed against public schools incessantly. He hates the very concept of tax supported schools. He's argued that people who voted against bonds to fund new school construction should not have to fund the bonds through their taxes. He also hates "Socialism" and "Communism" asserting the "Capitalism" will solve all of society's ills. And yet, he favors tax supported vouchers to support private schools, including religious schools But wouldn't tax supported vouchers constitute Corporate Socialism? I guess he hates public schools even more than he hates the prior mentioned 'isms."

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