A lot of parents know and realize the problems associated with the public schools. Public schools are plagued with two major problems.
Firstly, the quality of education and growth of a child is very poor in public schools.
Secondly, the environment and atmosphere provided by a public school may not be suitable for a Muslim child.
Well, what is the alternative? Why not move our children to private schools? The private schools will provide for a better quality of education, but you will have to pay the fees.
This naturally leads to the ideal solution of sending our children to private Muslim schools, that is, if our pockets allow it.
How the government taxes us for public schools
Let's look at the government funding provided to public schools a little more closely.
It is the money first earned by us, then extracted from us by taxation, and then returned to only some of us for education with many strings attached.
What if we could direct our tax dollars to a school of our choice? What if we could use our tax dollars towards tuition for our children in Muslim schools?
And yes we can-through the educational choice program. Why should we pay twice-once to the government and then to the private school? Instead, let's demand the educational choice option.
The educational choice program
The educational choice program opts for providing financial aid to parents via tax deductions, tax credits, vouchers or scholarships. Tuition tax credits and vouchers allow parents to use education dollars at private schools of their choice.
In tuition tax credit plans, parents can deduct education expenses from their income taxes.
In a voucher system, the state government provides education funds directly to families in the form of a voucher, and the family can then use the voucher in a public or private school of its choosing. Parents, not the state, decide how education dollars are spent.
Non-government schools are better
Non government schools have been closely studied by educators, sociologists, and political scientists.
The consensus is that they are more likely than government ones to have the characteristics of an effective school: strong educational leadership by the principal, high expectations, parental involvement, and a sense of teamwork shared by teachers and administrators.
Data on the performance of students in non government schools reveal that they generally outperform government schools even after family background and a student's prior academic achievement have been taken into account.
The success of non government schools suggests two things: first, that choice has tremendous power to improve existing schools; and second, that tax dollars directed to non government schools (or to the parents of children attending non government schools) would be purchasing a higher quality of education than is currently being delivered by government schools.
Dr. Coleman's pioneering work documented the superiority of non government schools, and Chubb and Moe's work has documented why non government schools outperform government schools.
The essence of their success is that they are subject to market control, meaning they must compete with one another for the loyalty of parents. This competition has led them to shun bureaucracy, to preserve the integrity of their curricula, and to maintain channels of communication for parents during a time when government schools often grew bloated, lost their educational missions, and refused to listen to parents.
Spending more doesn't improve student achievement
Non government schools generally spend considerably less per pupil than do government schools, yet they achieve superior results.
The average per-pupil spending in Catholic high schools is approximately half that of government schools.
Spending more doesn't produce better government schools because much of the new money is wasted on higher salaries and bureaucracy.
Since their income is not tied to their performance, more money just rewards wasteful habits.
If more funds won't improve the government schools, different solutions must be pursued. The best available research repeatedly points to the merits of choice.