Private school parents, taxpayers should get to use vouchers

Letter to the Editor 

To the editor:

I have never written a letter to a newspaper, but after reading Terry Bilheimer’s Oct. 11 letter, “Call should not have printed Koenig’s evolution ideas,” I felt the need to respond.

I would have welcomed vouchers for my daughter’s education while sending her to parochial schools. You see, Terry, a parochial school not only delivers an excellent education to our children by teachers who could be collecting food stamps for the very meager wages they receive, but also teaches them faith, values, discipline, how to be a rule follower and the all-important basics of right and wrong.

I take great offense to your comment that “private schools exist so the wealthy and certain religious denominations won’t have to mix with the public and democratic ideas.” My husband and I saved and went without – and still do – while putting our daughter through parochial grade school and a Catholic high school.

We are an “average” family, and a school voucher would have been welcomed while we had our daughter educated in the Catholic school system. We have many friends who have several children, and parochial schooling is their choice as well. I’m positive that anyone who sends their children through parochial schools would welcome a voucher. I am Catholic, and proud of my religious denomination.

I believe that all taxpaying citizens should share in the taxes distributed to the public school using a voucher system. Why do you find this idea so offensive?

As a longtime resident of St. Louis County, I have paid taxes to the Lindbergh School District for the past 25 years – and I still don’t know what I receive from these taxes.

What my neighbors have received while sending their children to the public schools are new school buildings, swimming pools and gymnasiums built for “our kids,” along with free bus service for in-school and after school events.

Parochial schools don’t receive funding for these types of perks, so the parents must pay to use a Lindbergh school bus for field trips, and PE classes are held in lunchrooms/gymnasiums, adjacent fields or playgrounds. I understand it is a choice of where we send our children, but why can’t everyone benefit from the bus service for school events – we pay the taxes too.

We are “wealthy” by having a roof over our heads, eating three squares a day, and having friends – both from the public and parochial sector – for whom we are truly blessed. What exactly is your definition of “wealthy”?

Elizabeth Golomski
Crestwood