Why School Vouchers are Bad for Conservatives

Why School Vouchers are Bad for Conservatives For those not familiar with the concept of school vouchers, it is the idea that instead of you sending your child to a local government school that is mandated to you by your school district, you can receive funds from the government (in the form of vouchers) which could be used to pay tuition at a parochial, private or home schools of your choosing. The thought behind this is, “Tax money is my money, and therefore I should be able to spend it however I like.” The whole idea of school vouchers is wrong-headed in many ways. Now granted, the NEA and leftist bureaucrats are against private vouchers, as they see them pulling more children away from “public” education, which they believe is essential for helping children to become good citizens. So anything that the liberal education establishment is against must be a good thing, right? Well, in this case…no. School vouchers are a bad idea for several reasons: 1. To argue for vouchers is to imply that the government has a valid, compelling interest in the education of children. I disagree with this premise on several levels, but you will have to see my previous essay, “A Christian Education Manifesto” for a bit more of the rationale behind that. God has given children to parents, not to the government, to feed, clothe, shelter and educate. 2. Vouchers are confiscatory and amount to nothing less than legal plunder. (For more on the concept of “legal plunder” I refer you to Frederic Bastiat’s excellent book on government and economics, “The Law.”) The concept of taking from the rich (or those who have) to give to the poor (those who have not) may sound good in the Robin Hood fables, but it is nothing less than an immoral breaking of the 8th Commandment of God: “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” It is no less immoral simply because it is the government doing it. In fact, as the agency that is established by God to uphold righteousness, it is that much worse. See my essay, “Robin Hood and the Government Schools” for more on this. 3. Once the government takes your money, it is no longer “your money,” it is now “their money.” This is true of all theft. Unless you can forcibly get it back, it is now in their possession to spend as they see fit. Imagine that you were robbed at gun point by a thug in a back alley....

© Israel Wayne.