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Letter: Vouchers would empower parents

Parent Jennifer Boudin, center, of Melville, is brought

Parent Jennifer Boudin, center, of Melville, is brought to tears as she learns that Billy Joel may donate money to help save the Long Island High School for the Arts and Doshi Science Technology Engineering and Math Institute, during a meeting of the Nassau BOCES board on Thursday night, Nov. 19, 2015. Boudin's daughter Emma, 15, is at right. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Several people have expressed disappointment at the lack of funding for the BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts and STEM program, pointing to the unwillingness of school districts to subsidize these children’s educations at schools that aren’t their own [“Let more attend arts high school,” Letters, Feb. 11].

There’s an obvious answer, which will be attacked immediately by the teachers unions and superintendents alike: vouchers for school choice. Vouchers would allow parents to decide which educational institution would best benefit their child.

Long-standing segregation of students, which tends to keep minority students confined to school districts that don’t have the resources to properly educate them, would be left behind. Students would bring the financial resources with them to schools of their choice.

Public schools affected by demographic shifts could recruit from other areas. Competition for students between public schools would result in innovative programs and specialization, all of which would depend on the creativity of teachers and administrators.

Performance evaluations based on standardized student tests could be eliminated, as the real evaluation would be in the hands of parents, who would have the power to remove a child from a nonperforming school.

Gerry Flynn, Port Jefferson Station


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