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School choice rally 2017

Students, teachers and parents attend the school choice rally in January on the west side of the Capitol. 

I was brought up to believe that whatever choices I make in life, good or bad, there would be consequences for that choice.

I’ve made some really bad choices and some really good ones. Whatever the consequences of those choices happened to be, I had to live with, learn from and either avoid doing the bad ones again or continuing to pursue the fruits of the good ones.

Since school choice seems to be one of the latest mantras going around, I wonder about the choices people made when they decided to not send their children to public schools. Seems to me they made a choice:

* They knew they were paying taxes to support public schools.

* They knew that, when they enrolled their kids in a private school, they would be expected to continue to pay taxes to support public schools.

Yet there is considerable discussion about these same people being allowed to have their choice negated via vouchers, tax credits and other means.

School choice is the idea of Milton Friedman, a libertarian economist who advocated tax-funded vouchers for parents to shop among private schools. The public didn’t like that idea, so he changed the name to “school choice.” This idea creates two separate school systems -- one for those who can afford choices, the other an underfunded, separate but unequal one.

Those who have made the decision to enact school choice have made their decision. They need to live with the consequences of that decision.

Bob Olmsted, Lincoln

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