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High resistance to school vouchers

June 15, 2007

Re "What money can't buy," Column One, June 12

All James Leininger has been able to do with his $100-million investment to transform Texas is help elect the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker, put Republicans in charge of the Legislature and the state Board of Education and allow business-friendly judges to take over the Texas Supreme Court. But he has failed to get a school voucher program. How reassuring it is to know that money can't buy everything in politics.

JAMES FREED

Santa Monica

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I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of Jonah Goldberg's June 12 Op-Ed column, "Do away with public schools," and the Column One on Leininger's so-far failed attempts to get the Texas Legislature to pass a voucher program. Goldberg asks: "What would be so terrible about government mandating that every kid has to go to school, and providing subsidies and oversight when necessary, but then getting out of the way?" The answer is clear when Leininger visits one academy that recipients of his scholarships attend and hears a student in science class, when asked the age of the Earth, respond: 6,000 years. The teacher nodded.

No one questions the right of private religious schools to teach whatever they want, but expecting the public to support the subversion of scientific knowledge is only one of the reasons why vouchers continue to be rejected by the majority in this country.

DAN SHEPARD

Westminster

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