A Positive Take on Vouchers

I am thankful to be a part of a community like Lafayette, Indiana, that values education and also values the individual right and responsibility that families share in choosing the best school to meet their child’s unique learning needs.   On August 10th, I had an opportunity to visit the Parent Open House at Tippecanoe School Corporation’s brand new Wyandotte Elementary School.  The atmosphere was electric as parents and students were anticipating the start of the new school year.  The following evening, Faith Christian School held its own Parent Orientation program.   Again, the atmosphere was very anticipatory of the new school year that was just around the corner for both parents and students.

I realize that there have been many reports and opinions about the recent school voucher program.  The voucher program is NOT about subsidizing schools.  Rather, it is about empowering parents to make independent choices to find quality educational options for their children. I really believe that the voucher system can be a win-win situation for families and communities across our state.  Faith Christian School has chosen to participate in this program because we believe that educating a child is a parent’s responsibility. We want to be able to help students from low income and middle income families get a quality academic education in an environment that best fits their values and learning needs.  We currently have over 20 students at Faith Christian who are participating in the voucher program.  I know that these families would not have had this opportunity without the voucher program in place.   I am also very appreciative of these students and their families, and I believe that Faith Christian is strengthened with the character and lives that these new students have brought to FCS!

For the past 15 years, FCS has provided families the opportunity for a Christ-centered education.  We have enjoyed working with and alongside other educators and schools in our town to do the very best job in educating the young people of the greater Lafayette community.  We may have some differing philosophies and/or methods, but the ultimate goal is common–to help parents educate their children!

When options are present, citizens and communities both benefit.

The voucher program is constitutional because it allows parents to make an independent choice (religious or not) regarding the best education option for their child.  In the universe of choice, parents should have educational options in the private sector as well.  I believe that private schools naturally provide parents with educational options for their children.  When options are present, citizens and communities both benefit.  An educational choice for families also provides good competition that ultimately increases
the effectiveness of all schools.

For true school improvement we must all be committed to strengthen a family’s choice for education.  Schools should look for ways to help and improve their commitment to meet the academic, spiritual, social and vocational needs of students.  Faith Christian
School desires to be a blessing to our community.  We want to educate and prepare students to be effective and responsible citizens and in turn we hope to strengthen families through the educational choices that are made available to them.

Time will be a determining factor of the effectiveness of this voucher program.   We live in exciting and changing times in the educational field. From my standpoint, the voucher system has allowed parents the ability to provide their family an educational choice for their children.  As a parent, I would be thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that vouchers present to my family, in that I can choose a specific school and/or system to best educate and train my child.    I am very thankful for the choices and freedoms that we have in our community regarding the field of education.

Scott Grass
Scott Grass is the administrator of Faith Christian School. He has been involved with Faith Christian School since it began in 1997. He and his wife, Debbie, have been active members of Faith Church since 1990. Scott also serves as a deacon and an ABF teacher.

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