Tags: Armey | Pushes | Voucher | Amendment

Armey Pushes Voucher Amendment

Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM

"There is no responsibility that a culture has that is more sacred and serious than the responsibility to educate their children," Armey said. "There is no responsibility that we should exercise from which we should derive more joy than watching our children have a good education."

The president's School Choice Amendment allows parents the option of sending their children to an alternate school if the school fails state requirements for three consecutive years.

The amendment includes language that allows their children's share of federal education funds to be used to pay tuition at a private school.

Low income families would be eligible for grants to send their children to private school, and students who are the victims of violence in a persistently dangerous school would be allowed to transfer to another public or private school.

The Voluntary School Choice Amendment authorizes a limited school choice demonstration program to study the benefits of school choice on student performance.

"We have to find a way to ensure that every child in America has the opportunity to get a good education," said Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), a co-sponsor of the amendment. "We believe the efforts in the bill will empower parents to send their kids to private, parochial or charter schools."

The voucher issue has long been a major point of contention between Republicans and Democrats.

In the spirit of bipartisanship and in an effort to get the education package through Congress, many Republicans dropped language providing for a voucher system.

One of those major points of difference is providing for parochial schools, an action many see as lessening the separation between church and state.

Although some private schools may have religious ties, Armey said most cannot argue with the success that many private schools have had.

"Just look at the great heritage of education in America and tell me that private and parochial schools haven't held a place of distinction and honor," he said.

However, Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, thinks Armey is virtually alone in calling for a voucher system.

"The only place where vouchers are popular are in Dick Armey's office," Lynn said. "Time and again, Americans have rejected voucher schemes."

In information provided by the organization, exit polls taken by the Washington Post last November found that 78 percent of Americans want to fix public schools, while only 16 percent wanted a voucher program.

According to a statement released from House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt's (D-Mo.) office, a voucher system would undermine public schools by draining much-needed tax monies from them.

Vouchers would not cover the tuition of many private schools, and choice is given to school officials and not parents, Gephardt said.

Armey and other Republicans insist, though, that vouchers will be a major contributor in improving public schools and in the meantime give less fortunate students in bad schools a chance at success.

Pointing to successful programs in Milwaukee and Arizona, voucher advocates say the programs work.

Armey sent a warning to other congressmen against voting down the amendment, saying a vote against vouchers would be parallel to a vote against children's futures.

"When that member stands there poised to put that vote in that voting machine, it is going to be between him and his constituents back home," he said. "I have to tell you, it would be awfully hard to go home and say 'look, because of one particular provision that was or wasn't there, I gave up on your hopes for the future.'"

(C)

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
There is no responsibility that a culture has that is more sacred and serious than the responsibility to educate their children, Armey said. There is no responsibility that we should exercise from which we should derive more joy than watching our children have a good...
Armey,Pushes,Voucher,Amendment
589
2001-00-23
Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved