Giving Parents a Voice: The Debate on School Choice

Vice President Al Gore Says:

I have always been against school vouchers because they drain our public schools of funding for children who need it the most—those who can not afford to go to a private school. Education is my number one priority: I am strongly committed to spending more money to improve our public schools.

The Reality Is:

Many people choose to live where their children can get a better education. Others simply place their children in private schools. In a sense, they are choosing their children’s schools. Where did Al Gore send his children? He chose to send them to private schools in the District of Columbia.

But all parents should have the power and opportunity to choose their child’s school—regardless of where they live or what they earn. Policies such as vouchers and school choice will increase competition, innovation and diversity in the education system, improving education for all children and best preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. On the other hand, simply throwing more money at the problem is not the solution. In fact, the District of Columbia has one of the highest per pupil spending rates, yet D.C. schools rank among the worst performing in the nation.

George W. Bush believes that competition (just as it has done in virtually every other sector of our economy) increases the quality of service while lowering the overall cost. We have seen this concept work wherever it has been tried¯in Milwaukee, in Cleveland, in New York, and in Florida. Meanwhile, Gore remains beholden to the “system” and to powerful teachers unions, instead of to our children, and puts the current education monopoly before our children’s futures.