Dear Editor,

It seems that every time I read an article in the Tomahawk I am amazed at the lack of common sense “our” politicians possess.
The latest lack of common sense is directly related to the Tennessee school vouch program that passed in the House (narrowly) and Senate. It has been demonstrated, according to Mary Mancini, that voucher programs have not been successful in any other state. How can you take X number of children from a poor producing education school and place them in a very successful school system? You are mixing poor achieving students with high achieving students which will bring down the high achievers because the teacher must spend more time with the poor achievers. Teachers, our most valuable educational resource, will attempt to bring the poor achievers up to par with the high achievers. This, in my view, will bring down the higher achievers to lower achievement standards. What about the all students left behind in the poor achieving schools who will not benefit from this legislation? Does this mean that once you get some of the low achievers transferred mean that those still in the low achievement school will improve?
Perhaps what is needed is a common sense approach to the problem without getting politicians directly involved. One commission should be developed to determine why the poor achieving school system children are failing and one commission set up to determine why the achieving schools are succeeding. Then have the two commissions meet to discuss and really learn what problem(s) exist. These commissions should include educators, teachers and school leaders, principals and school board members with legal advisers, assisting to handle legal matters only in guiding the commissions along the legalities involved in the political process. Governor Bill Lee never discusses why the failing schools are failing only that the children should go to a high achieving school.
I think that the parents of poor achieving students are not learning what their children are learning in school and need to be more proactive in their children’s education.
This means supporting the school systems through an active partnership. Government should not be in the business of raising children but ensuring that they are all getting the best public education possible. Parents should learn that schools are nota baby sitting service.
To spend 125 million over five years, not counting the additional monies parents would be required to spend out of their own pockets, is ludicrous to say the least. Mr. Lee should realize that it is NOT an important day for the children of Tennessee. This money should be spent to retain and better support the teachers in the public school systems. Teachers and school administrators need to be better supported to enable them to improve the education of Tennessee children. This voucher system exemplifies another failure of the politicians to improve the standards of higher education in Tennessee. It is merely throwing money in the wrong direction.
Politicians seem to not vote for their constituents view points but rather their own personal view(s).

George A. Spreyne