Originally published Monday, February 12, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
I worked for 35 years in education. I was a high school English teacher, a coordinator for an International Baccalaureate program, and headmaster of a private high school. From that experience, I have learned that public and private schools do not work in tandem and are designed to serve different populations.
Public schools are just that: public. They are supported by public tax dollars, committed to accepting and educating every child in America, and subject to close public scrutiny. There is no greater example of democracy in action than a public school board meeting. Public schools have a mandate to be all-inclusive.
Private schools are, by definition, exclusive. They first exclude children whose parents cannot afford tuition, then those who don’t meet other criteria set by each school individually.
Given the above, I believe it is unethical and immoral to remove tax dollars from the public treasury where they are intended and needed for public schools, and hand those dollars over to a private industry for its private profit.
A recent Atlantic article put it this way: “In this era of fragmentation we urgently need a renewed commitment to the idea that public education is a worthy investment, one that pays dividends not only to individual families, but to our society as a whole.”