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Vouchers Will Lower Educational Standards

September 12, 1993

* As a teacher, I feel I have to respond to the column by pollster Arnold Steinberg on the school voucher initiative.

Although Mr. Steinberg works for the "Yes on 174 campaign," he obviously has not read the initiative. Mr Steinberg states that currently California tax dollars go to public schools with no accountability--"based solely on number of bodies." In reality, Proposition 174 creates the very system that he rails against.

Proposition 174 would give private voucher schools $2,600 for each child enrolled (or $2,600 for each body). The taxpayer-funded voucher schools would not be accountable to parents or taxpayers.

Anyone who can enroll 25 students would be able to open a voucher school. Teachers would not have to hold teaching credentials--they wouldn't even have to have a college degree. Voucher schools won't be held to any testing or learning standards. They won't have to teach in-depth courses of math, science or history. To top it off, Proposition 174 does not require voucher schools to account for how they spend our money.

If the proponents of Proposition 174 wanted to improve the quality of our children's education, they missed the mark by a long way.

Mr. Steinberg states "like any initiative measure, (Proposition 174) has some imperfections." I suggest Mr. Steinberg take another look. "Some imperfections" means big trouble for California's kids.

JULIE DE CAMP

Van Nuys

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