Support for vouchers is mystifying

December 16, 1996

Your support for school vouchers (Nov. 25, "An open mind on vouchers") is as mystifying as Mayor Kurt Schmoke's. It isn't often that The Sun advocates stomping on the Bill of Rights when things aren't going well, but this is clearly an exception.

Contrary to the opinions held by Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed and their followers, there is indeed a separation of church and state in the United States. It's the main reason that so many religions are currently flourishing here, as well as a key factor in keeping religious strife from our shores.

Check out Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Iran and many other nations throughout history for the results of close ties between government and religions.

Implementing a school voucher system means taking funds directly out of the public school system, where they are most needed. It means saddling private schools with rules and regulations that go along with using tax dollars. It means, in the long run, greater inequality in the education of our children.

I support choice among public schools where possible, accountability from public school administrators and teachers always, and high standards of achievement for students. But turning our tax dollars over to churches, synagogues and mosques to educate our children will only entangle religion with government, and pit parent against parent in the already emotional area of K-12 education.

Mark M. Wolkow

Abingdon

The writer is vice president for legislation for the Harford County Council of PTAs.

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