Give taxpayers a choice on children’s education

I would like to respond to a letter referring to the analogy of subsidizing private schools to golf courses. Instead of using golf courses, try comparing high schools to colleges. When a student graduates from high school, he or she has an option of choosing between a private or public institution. Financial aid provided by the state government can be used toward any public or private school, lowering the personal cost of education for the student. Why can’t the taxpayer have an option in the form of a voucher or tax break to be applied to a private or parochial education? Shouldn’t I have a say as to how my tax money is spent?

Essentially, I should have a choice, but I do not. New York State taxpayers pay one of the highest school taxes in the country, but our students perform at one of the lowest rates in the country per dollar spent. It is ridiculous to assume that all students who attend private institutions come from well-off families; many families give up vacations, car purchases and home improvements to send their children to a private school, not to mention taking out loans and second jobs. The writer doesn’t seem too concerned with taking taxpayer money to subsidize his health care for the rest of his life or his tax-free pension. His real concern is not taxpayer subsidies but rather loss of public school teaching positions to private teaching positions.

Rich Neary

West Seneca