Focus Point - Reich's Right on Vouchers

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Guess who's come out for vouchers? Former Clinton Labor secretary Robert Reich, who says Clinton -- and Al Gore-- are wrong.

Reich calls his plan "progressive vouchers": Children are given vouchers in amounts inversely related to their parents' income. Upper income people have always had de facto vouchers: Living in areas with good schools or sending kids to private schools.

So Reich would give vouchers on a sliding scale. Children from America's poorest 20 percent of families would get vouchers worth $10,000 to $12,000, encouraging public, private or charter schools close to poor neighborhoods to upgrade physical plants, buy new textbooks, hire better teachers.

Children from families in the next income quintile would get $8,000 to $10,000 -- and so forth up the scale until top 20 percent families received vouchers worth $2,000 to $4,000. This plan would encourage wealthier schools to seek out enough $12,000 voucher students in their region to meet their budgets.

With thinking like this, why isn't this guy still in the administration?

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, guess who's cutting taxes?

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