NJEA spokesman Steven Baker distorted the goal of current legislation by stating that those in favor of aid are requesting a taxpayer bailout of a private industry. (“Panel urges state aid to NJ’s parochial schools,” July 29). In reality, the goal of the current legislation is to provide a way out for a select few kids of a flawed public school and to allow for competition.
Milton Freidman advocated for that competition 50 years ago: the lack of competition has led to the demise of the American public school system. In Washington, DC, an astonishing number of children are better prepared for jail by the failing public schools than they are for the working world. Competition would foster excellence, and would remove the barrier to children being forced into subpar institutions where inept teachers cannot be fired due to the most powerful union/monopoly in the U.S.
Paul Tractenberg, a strong advocate of public education, pointed out the imbalance of commission members in favor of private schools. What he neglected to elucidate was that the NJEA is so powerful that it previously prevented legislation from ever reaching a vote in New Jersey, knowing full well that there were sufficient votes to pass tax credits for private schools legislation. It’s stunning to me that those in control of our children’s education would suppress and distort the goals and ultimate cost savings of providing tax credits in favor of their own personal gain and job security.
Unless we make room for competition, the public school system will continue its current downward spiral, and the union itself will be the cause of a bankrupt system replete with top heavy administration and inferior educators that cannot be terminated.