In Good Faith

By 10/01/2009

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(Earlier this week I submitted the following letter to the editor to the Wall Street Journal.  I don’t know whether it will be published.  I am less sanguine than the paper’s editors regarding the intentions of Senator Durbin.)

In “Dick Durbin and D.C. School Vouchers” (editorial, September 30), you suggest that “Mr. Durbin deserves the benefit of the doubt” as to whether he is proceeding “in good faith” about reauthorization of the DC Scholarship Program.

A September 30 Washington Post news story (“More Oversight Urged For Voucher Schools”) provides detail as to the “good faith” intentions of Senator Durbin, who is quoted as follows: “We’ve got to demand the same standards [for voucher schools] as we do [for] our public and our charter schools.”

This is the same rationale used earlier this year by voucher opponents in the Wisconsin legislature, which cut funding for private schools in Milwaukee’s school choice program and enacted a public school-style regulatory regime for those schools.  School choice opponents long have understood that a regulatory barrage is the first step in the ultimate goal of killing such programs.

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  • Kyle says:

    This is certainly true and one of the (perhaps legitaimate) concerns of the school choice crowd: will regulation actually make schools so homogeneous that it ends up not making a difference. In either case, Senator Durbin’s intentions are not the problem; it’s the poor policy he proposes.

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