The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

School vouchers?

Letter to the Editor

 


The presentation of a bill to change the state constitution to allow school vouchers has created turmoil in a number of Alaskan communities. Living in Seward, where there is no “alternative school” for the use of vouchers, there may be a temptation to think this does not concern me. The lack of alternative schools is the case in the vast majority of Alaskan communities. However, the impact of diverting public school support to fund these alternative school vouchers is something that threatens education in every corner of our state. That fact, by itself, should be reason enough to prevent this bill from going forward.

I believe I also bring a unique perspective to this discussion. I was educated from kindergarten through graduate school in parochial (church-related) schools. My children also were educated in parochial schools. Neither my parents nor I are wealthy. Doing this was a matter of conviction about the value of educating our children in an environment where their faith would be nurtured, not constantly challenged. This decision has cost us dearly (in fact, we will be paying for it into retirement!), but we were convinced it was the right thing to do. At NO time did I ever think it was the public’s responsibility to help us do this. As with anything of value, we wanted it, so we paid for it. And because, as a Christian, I believe in seeking the welfare of the whole community, I have always voted in favor of tax increases that would help public schools improve. It helps no one when we risk harming others to improve our own situation.

— Rev. Ronald Nitz, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Seward

 

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