School choice should be an undeniable right

Education shouldn't depend on a zone

The decades old debate on school choice and school zoning is continuing once again in our district. It’s no secret that with the combined lackluster factors of financial trouble, staff shortages, lack of academic growth, mismanaged district administration, and low funding, CCSD has found itself struggling at the bottom of the barrel, especially when it comes to our public education. Although last attempts, like former governor Brian Sandoval’s attempts to set aside state funding for individual education savings accounts have failed, efforts to revive the program for low-income and disabled families are still in play.

In this age of freedom of choice, it would be reasonable to expect, as a parent, the right to choose which school your child attends. After all, why allow your child to attend the obviously flawed public system? Yet, outlandish claims from opponents claim that school choice, especially when it comes to vouchers, negatively affects the taxpayer’s dollar and harms the concept of separation of state from religion.

Yet, the taxpayer is already suffering the costs of a flawed educational system. There’s no harm in devoting part of the massive $3 billion budget of the taxpayer’s money to vouchers. Instead of foolishly devoting that money to systems that are already broken, why not devote that money to the promotion of academic competition in the form of tuition vouchers? School choice doesn’t privatize schools, but simply widens the competition to include private schools. And it’s no secret that academically speaking, private schools tend to perform much better than public schools. It’s especially prevalent when looking into Bishop Gorman’s academics compared to the rest of CCSD’s.


Despite other claims, the voucher actually introduces opportunities for low income and minorities to attend quality schools, not just restricting them solely to their sub-par, underfunded public school. In a Harvard study, college enrollment in New York for African Americans increased by 24%, while also increasing the completion of secondary school by 15-20%. Through school choice and vouchers, a safe advancement of minorities into prestigious schools can be created.

Yet, there is an argument about separating government and religion. While the government should not have to fund vouchers for students wanting to attend religious schools, canceling vouchers for all private schools shouldn’t be the scenario. Religious establishments should be solely excluded from the programs and students attending should be required to pay the full tuition. If other independent donors want to cover tuition, preferably the Church, then they should be allowed to.

And overcrowding can be easily regulated to a “first come, first serve” basis. Many schools in the district already implement this system — school choice would change nothing about it except provide more opportunities to kids across the district.

No one student should be confined to where they live, their financial situation, or their district. There are many problems insinuated with public zoning — this shouldn’t affect the parents nor the student. This country is clear on choice, and “being assigned” your school poses implications against freedom and agenda.

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