Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Reader's Letter to Governor Ted Strickland on Vouchers

Views expressed in reader submissions do not necessarily reflect the views of MCDAC or its officers.

May 1, 2007

The Honorable Ted Strickland
Riffe Center, 30th Floor77 South High StreetColumbus, OH 43215-6108

Dear Governor Strickland:

I cannot begin to tell you the depth of my despair on learning that you are considering abandoning what we thought was your promise to begin the undoing of the damage caused by school vouchers in our state.

Sixteen years of Republican control of our state government has nearly gutted public education. As one who was the recipient of the benefit of the leveling of the playing field provided by public education, I am appalled with the scheme now in place. When I am out of state discussing schools, I am ashamed to say where I live.

I dare say that most citizens in Ohio do not know the breadth of impact of vouchers. Indeed, until today, I did not know that our own Department of Education has been giving power point presentations using high pressure sales techniques to encourage parents to abandon public schools by giving out $4,000-$5,000 per year scholarships for their children to attend private schools. This is taxpayer money--taken from the local school districts that are in most need of support.

If you must give vouchers to our children, give them ONLY to those children who are failing—the truants, the unmotivated, the very ones who might succeed with special attention.

Governor, don’t abandon us in the political malaise that we call politics. Make us proud to live in Ohio again.

Billie Brandon
School Board Member
Mid-Ohio Educational Services Center
Pioneer Career and Technology Center

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