Utah shuts out school choice

The bad news from last night…Utah rejected school vouchers:

Voters decisively rejected the will of the Utah Legislature and governor Tuesday, defeating what would have been the nation’s most comprehensive education voucher program in a referendum blowout.
More than 60 percent of voters were rejecting vouchers, with about 95 percent of the precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. The referendum failed in every county, including the conservative bastion of Utah County.

Voucher supporter Overstock.com chief executive Patrick Byrne – who bankrolled the voucher effort – called the referendum a “statewide IQ test” that Utahns failed.

“They don’t care enough about their kids. They care an awful lot about this system, this bureaucracy, but they don’t care enough about their kids to think outside the box,” Byrne said.

The opposition to the vouchers spent $4.4 million to defeat the referendum. Fund came from the NEA and other terrorist organizations teachers unions around the nation.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    I’m not so upset; I am down on vouchers because I think they will kill the independence of private schools.

    It’s important to remember that businessmen strive to please the guy who is paying them money. Under a voucher scheme, the school’s primary customer becomes the government, since the school will lose alot of business if it is cast off the government’s list of voucher-eligible schools. Just as the federal govenremnt controls the state drinking age via the threat of withholding highway funds, the curricula and offered programs of these independent schools would come under increasing government control. In the meantime, schools that reject the program will be at a competitive disadvantage over schools that participate, and so most schools will choose to participate rather than go bankrupt.

  • http://dangerouslyidealistic.blogspot.com/ UCrawford

    I agree with Tarran, this might look a little like free enterprise on the surface, but really it’s not. It’s just government shuffling around the manner in which schools are paid while still dictating terms to schools by acting as an unnecessary middleman. Not to mention the problems that are going to pop up if federal funding is given to (or not given to) private schools with religious curricula. The idea that the voucher system can save the school system is a sham…nothing’s going to work short of simply getting the government out of the mix altogether.

  • TerryP

    I much prefer tax credits to vouchers. They also pass constitutional mustard far better than vouchers as well. With a tax credit the parent is in charge and the schools have to make them happy, not the gov’t or the unions, or they will lose the student and the money that goes along with that student.