Charter schools are also different from school vouchers. Charter schools are subsidized by the government. The government can revoke the charter and halt funding at any time. Voucher programs date back to the early 1900's in Vermont and Maine. The two states wanted to ensure that every child had access to schools, at a time when some children were not located in a school district (CNN). It is only in the 1990's that other localities and states adopted voucher programs and sparked debate (Brown, B. 2002, 287-300).
The issues presented by school vouchers have polarized Americans. Many are for vouchers, and many are against vouchers. Few are left in the middle. Proponents of school vouchers make their main case the condition of failing, inner city schools. Varying in different programs, vouchers are offered to failing students in urban schools. The students have a choice to enroll in another public school or private school. Supporters argue that a majority of voucher recipients are poor minorities. Therefore, these poor, neglected students have a new chance in a school outside the district. In addition to providing better education to these failing students, the push for school integration is renewed (Coulson). Since school integration became the law of the land in 1954, white families have flocked to the suburbs, resulting in separation of the upper classes and lower classes (Epple, D., and Romano, R. 2003).
Opponents dispute that this totally undermines public education. Learning by People for the American Way (PFAW) cites that the voucher costs drain money from public schools. This has unenthusiastic effects in its place of keeping the money inside the school budget. A different complaint is the right of confidential schools to confess or deny students entry, as public schools are required to believe each student. This undermines public education's guarantee of education for all. PFAW explain that private schools accept only the brightest applicants. Often students with different religious backgrounds are denied entry at parochial schools, regardless of educational record.
Now, three major voucher programs exist. They are programs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Cleveland, Ohio, and Florida. James Wilson explains that these three programs are the three major ones because of national reluctance to experiment with vouchers (77). Although many critics claim public schools are failing, the national perception is that public education is generally good. The system promotes integration, social contact, and overall democratic ideals. People, who are unsure of private schools, will not support vouchers because of the perception of public schools. It would be better not to have voucher programs then to risk the current public education system (Figlio, D., and Page, M. 2003).
Despite strong opposition throughout the nation, Milwaukee and Cleveland, two Democratic cities, have adopted voucher programs. The cities were capable to endorse the programs since of a latest majority. Minorities and liberals, who would promise to the similar philosophy as the AU and PFAW, have abandoned the resistance arguments. The practice in a failing school region sways sufficient liberal and minority voters to join Republican conservatives, previously behind