Private and Public Schools: Inevitable Conflict?

Columnist Mark McCormick asks some questions about two candidates for the board of USD 259 Wichita, and asks, “can someone who supports scholarships to private schools be on the school board? How about someone who has opposed tax increases?”

The second question is easily aynswered. The members of the board should serve the public, making sure that it gets good service for the price that it pays. This responsibility may lead a member to call for more funding to meet an unmet need. It may also lead the same person to oppose more funding on the grounds that more can be done with existing funds. A good supervisor should be prepared to do both.

As to the first question, the answer is also easy if we ask another question. Which is more important: the system, or the children? Some children do well enough in government-run schools, which is what we think of as “public schools.”

Other children need alternatives, including privately owned and operated schools. Yet they too are part of the public, and their education benefits the rest of us, just as a good education provided to a child in a government-run school benefit the rest of us.

In short, “public education” occurs in many places.

Source: School board candidates have intriguing loyalties, Wichita Eagle, January 28

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