The Republican Primary election for District 16 state representative took a nasty turn when a mailer pictured Patti Bounds with Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton and said Bounds wants to block parents from choosing where they send their child to school.
Patti Bounds supports school choice. She just doesn’t want to divert tax dollars from public schools to private ones.
I’ve contributed to Patti’s campaign. I promised the donation before her primary opponent, Michele Carringer, announced for the race. Both Michele and Patti are good women with long service to the community. The winner of the Aug. 6 primary will face Democratic nominee Elizabeth Rowland in November.
Elections are choices. Each voter wants to send a representative to Nashville (or Washington) who would vote like you would were you there. And there’s just one issue that separates Bounds and Carringer – vouchers.
There are Republicans and Democrats who support vouchers. There are Republicans and Democrats who don’t. National secretaries of education for the last three administrations have supported vouchers. That’s Bush 43, Obama and Trump. It is not a partisan issue.
What do you think?
Here’s why I oppose vouchers:
- Money. Tennessee ranks 42nd of 50 states in per pupil funding. It makes no sense to spread that money even thinner by including private schools.
- Fairness. Private schools are not required to serve all kids. Guess which kids will be excluded (and left to public schools).
- Common sense. With shadowy millionaires spending so much dark money to promote pro-voucher candidates (usually with untrue, unsigned mailers) you have to ask why. Do they expect to get their cut of the nation’s spending on education sometime down the road? Or do they really just love the children?
My family is deeply rooted in public education – grandfather, aunts and cousins were teachers. Most Knox County residents are proud of their public school – be it Panthers, Bobcats or Red Devils. Want a better school? Join the PTA and volunteer to make it better.
Unhappy about top-down administration and excessive testing? Run for the school board. That’s what Patti Bounds did. She’s done a great job on the BOE and she’ll do great in Nashville.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.