School choice -- as long as you don't choose public schools
I don't doubt the intentions (either I'm a sucker or I just believe that somehow people are fundamentally good -- maybe both). I believe that they're trying to accomodate the educational needs of hundreds of thousands of students, many of whom attended private schools in N'Orleans. There are two main problems and People For the American Way nails them both:
Education policy experts have identified a wide variety of problems with the President’s voucher plan. Public schools are already accepting the overwhelming majority of displaced students, but they would be ineligible to receive the proposed voucher funds.
So, in other words, this is school choice, so long as you don't choose public schools? Why wouldn't public schools be able to accept the vouchers? The only way this possibly makes sense is if you subscribe to a conspiracy theory that the Administration really does hate public schools. Say it ain't so... PFAW continues:
Also, many of the private schools that could receive these funds could be ill-equipped to provide the comprehensive services that hurricane victims may need, including mental health services, counseling, free and reduced meals, and after school care—all services that public schools provide.
Private schools are great. They serve a useful purpose and, by and large, do excellent work. But they rarely have the types of supplemental services available that one would find in public schools. These services are going to be absolutely critical to Hurricane survivors. Can the private schools accepting vouchers ensure that they will be able to provide them?
I have serious doubts.