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School Voucher Issue

September 11, 1993

* I find myself in agreement with parts of George Will's column (Aug. 26) on school vouchers, but convinced that he had not read the text of the proposition.

Whether we agree on the value of vouchers for parental choice is not what is at stake in California. The issue is the value of placing Proposition 174 into the state Constitution.

Most of the language of the proposition is concerned with details which belong either in statutes or in regulations. One of the most offensive sections of the proposal is that which gives power to control future changes covering this amendment to a small minority in the state Legislature, or to local governing boards, and to a majority of "qualified" voters, defined as "a majority of those registered to vote." All elections in our democracy are determined by a majority of those voting.

Proposition 174 gives local governing boards the authority to set rules for enrollment capacity. It would give authority to individual schools to determine who could enroll and who could be discharged. And I haven't even begun to deal with the issue of spending taxpayers' moneys to support private institutions.

To me, the greatest danger from this proposition is the potential for dividing future populations into small enclaves of people who don't understand anyone different, and may come to fear and hate anyone who is different. That would be the death of the soul of America. I can't believe that is what George Will wants.

MARGARET CRAIG

League of Women Voters of Orange Coast

Laguna Hills

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