Your perspective on voucher costs enumerated in our City of Racine tax statements (Jan. 20) made this point:
“Wow. That is a lot of money ($19,000,000 goes to voucher schools) that we could be saving. But that is not really the case. If those dollars weren't going to voucher schools and those kids weren’t going to private school, they would instead likely be going to public schools and then the dollars would go with them, meaning there wouldn’t be savings for taxpayers.”
Perhaps you were not aware that 70 percent of students in voucher schools were in attendance already and never attended public schools. In other words, we are paying for students whose families have never had students in public schools. Additionally, while families in most of the state get vouchers up to 1 ½ times the poverty rate (roughly $30,000 for a family of four) or $45,000 of income. In Racine, our legislators allow for families to get tax money for private schools if their income is 2 ½ the poverty rate or roughly $75,000 for a family of four.
In a state that was ranked fifth in highest cuts to education from 2010-16, (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Feb. 17, 2016) siphoning dollars from public schools to support private education should be more transparent. Ignoring important details as you did in your perspective does not honor the children of our state.
Carl Lassiter, Mount Pleasant