Last week the Center for American Progress (CAP) put out a report saying vouchers were bad for kids, the report can be found here.
I recently joined Ready Colorado from a small tech startup called Uber. For over two years I had politicians and regulators telling me that Uber needed to be a “taxi” company and the regulations already existed for our product to work. Higher rates for consumers, more rules, more government overreach. I was basically told that the regulatory scheme for taxis was a one size fits all approach that everybody should live with.
The basic premise of the report from CAP really hit home for me because the tone steers the conversation to telling people they don’t know how to make their own decisions.
I almost always take an Uber when I need a ride. But you know what? Sometimes a taxi is a faster and better option (albeit more expensive), sometimes I take the RTD train to the airport to avoid traffic, I walk a lot, I fly, take a bus, or rent a car when it meets my needs for the circumstance. If somebody tries to tell me there’s a one size fits all approach to anything in our society, I will never get comfortable with their arguments. If I want solar panels powering my home instead of the energy monopoly, I should have that option. If I want to list my home on Airbnb to make some money while we are out of town, I should get to do that. Oh, and my home chooses Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime over cable all day long.
Choosing the right school is a complicated and intensely personal decision. If somebody tells me that anybody but the parent is better suited to make the decision on where their child should go to school, then I would ask them to check their ego at the door. There is no such thing as “public money” as the report alludes to. In the case of vouchers, it is taxpayers’ money and the school choice program is letting someone take their portion of the money dedicated to their child to the school that will help them succeed, plain and simple.
Someone should tell the kids in Adams County 14 Colorado that the people sitting in a Washington D.C. think your zoned school is better than any private school you may choose with a voucher or scholarship. That should make them feel a whole lot better about being trapped in a failing school.
By Craig Hulse
Vice President, Ready Colorado