I am an ardent PBS supporter who appreciates the fact that you take pains to show both sides of many of the political issues that are aired on your broadcasts. However, I was dismayed to hear that you have no plans to air a rebuttal to “School Inc.”
As a retired public school teacher, I was appalled by the appointment of Betsy DeVos (for a variety of reasons), whose push for privatization of our public schools is clearly undemocratic. In addition to her belief that public monies should be allowed to be used to fund religious schools, I am opposed to the voucher system because private and charter schools are not held to the same standards as are the public schools. These schools are not required to, in many cases, accept and educate all students, turning away special education students because they would not “fit in,” and expelling “problem children” without due process. Additionally, many parents who would be tasked with the “choice” of which school to send their children to do not have the knowledge or training to make informed decisions about charter schools versus public schools, nor do many of these parents have the means or time to provide transportation to schools that might be their institutions of choice.
In the end, the voucher system is a half-baked plan set up to directly benefit wealthier families who don’t want to pay to send their children to private schools. The poor, those who live in rural communities, and the uneducated will, as always, be at a severe disadvantage. The voucher system will essentially gut the strong public school system with our highly qualified teachers and thorough foundation for providing and teaching all children, while providing segregated private schools for the elite, at the taxpayers’ expense, but without their assent, and with no governmental oversight.
Therefore, my request to you is that if you are going to air one side of this issue, please do your journalistic due diligence and your viewers the courtesy of airing the other side as well.