Public should have freedom to decide best use of school funds

Public should have freedom to decide best use of school funds

George Washington once said that government is like fire; it can be a cruel master or an unruly troublesome servant.

In last week's letters to the editor, Cumberland's (School Committee Chairwoman Lisa) Beaulieu opined that charter schools are about funding, not about choice, while

Lincoln's Dr. Collins opined that they are about choice; he was abused at a recent Lincoln School Committee meeting while exercising his freedom of speech on this subject.

As a private high school graduate whose tuition was paid through a voucher by Lincoln taxpayers in the early 1960s before Lincoln had a high school in 1964, along with hundreds of other students, I can appreciate the value of educational choice. For some time now there has been a fight in the public education/public union arena as to who owns/controls a community's educational dollars. Is it the "public educational/public union government" or should it be the taxpayers?

Freedom of the educational marketplace should be demanded, with less control by public systems/public union monopolies.

I submit that the taxpayers, through freedom of choice, should decide where their educational tax dollars should be spent.

If taxpayer parents decide to keep their dollars in the public system, that is their choice and elected public servants should not try to beat those parents who choose otherwise into submission by denying them educational choice. If public education has to get smaller to get better, then that is the mandate and choice of the taxpayers.

Remember: There are thousands of parents who personally pay for private educations and also pay for the whole of public education without any benefit to their own children. The fight for the educational dollar will rage on with the hope that the educational dollar will follow the choice of taxpayer parent/student and not be held hostage by the political control of elected school officials and public unions.

John J. Cullen

Lincoln