DEAR EDITOR:

Recently while visiting retailers, restaurants and box stores in Cherokee County, I was able to price compare. Therefore, I was able to look for the best value that fits the specific needs of my family.

With a variety of options on almost any service or product everyone has the ability to spend their money where they want. Why can’t parents choose where and how to educate their children? Organized education will tell you that a government school is always the best for every child. In fact, the chairwoman of the Cherokee Board of education will lead you to believe that government schools should be the only option. It appears that the county school board believes that having some choice in where you educate your children is not an option parents should have. Therefore, they oppose Rep. Wes Cantrell who believes you should have some choice.

Why can’t parents send their children to a different and qualified school? Why can’t parents be allowed to spend their own money on their own children instead of underwriting a school system that may not serve their moral or special needs? Sometimes it appears that it is all about their $590 million dollar annual cash flow and less about proper education.

As an example, they would like for you to believe that charter schools cost the taxpayer money. In reality, for every student in a charter school the county system keeps about one-third of the student funding, even though there is no student at the desk or cost to the school district. With overcrowding that seems to be a plus for the district. Where is the loss? The predicted cash flow loss from school choice of “$54 million over 10 years” to the school system is pure baloney. There is no way of predicting how many parents might choose to use any new options. The school board chairwoman stated “There’s no accountability for private schools, and I have a real problem with that.” Don’t believe everything you hear. There are standards that every school must comply with. This is just school board rhetoric and fear tactics to protect their turf and cash flow? They talk as if “taxpayer money” belongs only to the school board. Remember, “taxpayer money” is your money. Shouldn’t you have some choice over how it is spent?

Rep. Cantrell with HB 301 and SB 173 is trying to provide some choice for parents. He says, “The Act would allow parents some flexibility in using their tax dollars for educational programs that could be more strategically designed for the specific needs of their children.” How can anyone oppose freedom of choice?

Quentin M. Thomas,

Woodstock

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