Public schools provide choice

In response to Rep. Bill Taylor’s article on school choice, I see no problem with parents choosing the right schools for their children. However, I have a problem with taxpayers footing the bill for an Aiken County child to attend a private school requiring tuition.

In the first place, this county has more than 42 schools for its students to attend and choose wisely from. Surely, one of those schools will fit the needs of a student having problems in the school he is currently attending. If a child is not doing well at one school, he can opt to attend another school even if it is out of his school zone.

If parents wants their child to attend a private school like Mead Hall or St. Mary’s, then they need to pay for the tuition themselves or apply for a scholarship. Proponents of the voucher/tax credit program think that all the child has to do is go to a private school and take the money from the school system with him. It is not that easy. We have to remember that if 100 students enrolled in some of our private schools and “took the district money with them” that the schools they left still would have to pay the bills: teachers, lights, custodians, books and all of the necessities of running schools.

In the Feb. 4 Aiken Standard, there was a positive and encouraging article about Hammond Hill Elementary school in North Augusta. After reading that article, it is clear to me that we have excellent schools in this county, Hammond Hill being just one of them.

Having visited numerous schools K-12 in Aiken County, I can say without reservation that if parents cannot find a good fit for their children in this district then perhaps the problem lies with the child, not the school.

Pat Kirk