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Issue: Should the School-Voucher Initiative Be Passed?

June 27, 1993| Compiled by Erin J. Aubry Times community correspondent

In November, voters will decide the fate of an initiative that would provide parents with vouchers equal to about half of what the state spends per-pupil on its public schools--or $2,000 to $2,500--for each child enrolled in a private or parochial school. Public school spending would be cut by that amount.

* Leticia Quezada: President , Los Angeles Unified School District Board Voters should definitely not support it. The voucher system would literally undermine public education as we know it today. It would decimate public funding for schools, which is already in trouble and has been for a while.

* Gil Sumlin: paramedic, South Los Angeles Overall, I think it would work because it would make the schools more competitive. It would force public schools to come up to certain standards and be more creative in their curriculum. Also, it would even things out between the haves and have-nots--everybody gets the same shot at good schools, regardless of residence. I would be first in line for a voucher.

* Tamy Netherly: student, Southwest Los Angeles It sounds good, but if you really think about it, it isn't. The public school system needs to get it itself together before they try something like this. I hear something bad about public schools every day--shootings, fights, racial tension. Before schools try something like this out, they need to address the problems that exist now.

* Evan Sandler: Auditor, Mid-Wilshire I'm definitely against it. I think state resources should only go to public education. Funding private schools can become an elitist thing, and by using public money it also undermines the separation of church and state. Besides, the money parents get with the vouchers (about $2,500) won't cover a private education by a long stretch. Private schools should continue to depend on enrollees for their money, and public schools should be strenghtened as much as possible.

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