YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Voucher Plan Clarifies 2 Schools of Opinion

December 29, 1991

Dan Akst has no idea of the negative effects of this voucher plan. He paints vouchers as a virtual panacea for California's school problems. Sadly, this is not the case.

While it sounds good in terms of allowing a free-market system of schools--good schools prosper, bad ones fail--it is actually a tax break for the middle and upper classes.

For the underprivileged family this plan does almost nothing. The $2,600 funding is not enough to afford a private school and most good public schools aren't located in poor neighborhoods.

New York City has a voucher program that is working fairly well. But it also has an efficient and extensive mass transit system. Alas, Los Angeles does not. While a student in Brooklyn could get to school in Manhattan in 30 minutes, I doubt that a student in South Central Los Angeles could get to the Valley, or even Beverly Hills in an hour in rush hour traffic if he or she took the bus.

Face it, there aren't enough good schools to go around. Those with the best test scores get in first. The problems facing the nation's schools are much more complex than a simple idea like vouchers can solve. We have ignored educational needs for 30 years. We are no longer the No. 1 industrialized country in the world and of the 16 industrialized nations we rank last in education.

If we do not improve education soon, we will not have the resources to do so later.


Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Articles