Coverage of private school scholarships missed the mark


By Joseph Liu, Alexandria

Your coverage of legislative efforts in Richmond to undermine public education was terribly one-sided (“Private school scholarships pick up steam in Virginia,” February 5). Virginia’s constitution effectively blocks private school vouchers to religious schools, yet Republican extremists are aggressively trying to circumvent it.

The article by the investigative reporter Kathryn Watson was embarrassingly one-sided and unprofessional. She failed to ask any of our local state legislators or school board members about their views. Nor did she balance the opinions of voucher supporters with the perspectives of teachers, policy experts, or civil libertarians. She even let the absurd claim that giving more state taxpayer dollars to private schools would reduce state spending go unquestioned.

As a board member of a local independent school and the father of a child who has attended private schools from junior kindergarten to high school, I strongly believe that it is wrong to use taxpayer dollars to fund private education. We should be investing more in our local public schools, which educate the overwhelming majority of our children.

It is historically ignorant to give tax dollars to unaccountable private organizations in a state infamous for shutting down public schools to fund racist academies in massive resistance to school desegregation

Alexandria is blessed with several excellent private schools that provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial aid to low and moderate income families. They don’t need to take scarce resources from public schools to keep up their good work.