Vouchers are not the answer

By By Nicholas Pappas

By Nicholas Pappas

Who doesn’t love Oreos? Oreos are the cookie sandwich of champions.

There are so many ways to eat them — a twist and a lick or crumbled on ice cream. I dip them in milk until they become a mushy mess of high fructose heaven. Oreos warm my heart and clog it all at the same time.

A local commercial for Referendum 1 produced by Richard Eyre has found a new use for Oreos, and I offer my congratulations. In just 30 seconds, Eyre has turned the complex school voucher issue into a simple case of apples and oranges (or cookies?and fewer cookies) while treating all Utah voters as if their heads were full of cream filling.

It’s a good strategy. Proponents of school vouchers like to claim the little golden tickets will help low-income families with educational choices — families that can relate to the cheap goodies. I look forward to their next commercial with a Ramen noodle tug-of-war or one outlining how choice in schools is similar to the McDonald’s dollar menu.

Their argument is fundamentally flawed. Under the voucher program, the highest amount a low-income family will receive per child is $3,000. Although there are conflicting statistics, the average private cost is somewhere between $4,000 and $8,000. Even with a tuition as low as $4,000, this would be more than most families could bear. The average clan working to replenish the Earth in Utah has more than three children.

It’s not impossible — for one of the kids. Perhaps they could rock, paper, scissors for a better education, and the losers could start paper routes to pay for it. They could live off all the extra Oreos they’d be getting from rich kids in distant private schools — separate but equal.

That is if the private school would even let in the one little, high-climbing scum. They don’t have to. Like Augusta National Golf Course not allowing female members, private schools can discriminate any way they want.

Sure, your child can go to St. Vincent — as long as he or she doesn’t mind the Catholic doctrine. If Referendum 1 passes, state will be the cookie and church will be the white stuff in the middle — Constitution be damned.

In reality, vouchers will help those in affluent families. Taxpayers will save little or nothing as money funnels between public and private. It avoids the most important issue — our already under-funded public schools. Utah continually ranks last in education per student.

Let’s not forget the most prolific donor to school vouchers — the Walton family, well known for low wages, poor working conditions and inadequate health care at its Wal-Mart stores. They built an underground bunker to make sure they didn’t have to touch anyone worth less than a billion for the rest of their privileged lives.

As a general rule, I choose to oppose anything they support. Whatever it is, it caters to the rich. Other supporters of school vouchers are George W. Bush, Jim Oberweis, John McCain and most likely Satan himself.

On Nov. 6, voters around the state will get to choose. This is an issue of education, so take time to educate yourself on the issue.

Children are not cookies. Don’t allow them to drown in corporate milk. Vote against Referendum 1.

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