In his February 1 letter David McLoughlin praises Warren Buffet as “a wise old man with values.” Such high praise is offered because, in addition to supporting higher taxes, Mr. Buffet wishes to “ban private schools so the rich would be forced to invest in the public system.” Apparently Mr. McLoughlin agrees.
Without regard to the egregious violation of civil and personal freedoms this point of view would entail, it is astonishing on two other points. First, many private educational institutions exist, not for the rich as Mr. McLoughlin implies, but because many students are not well-served by the public system. I do not offer this as a criticism of public schools, which do many things very well. Rather, I am affirming that a program such as mine – a classical, Christian curriculum rooted in the liberal arts – is a program of study not offered by the public system. My school and other private K-12 schools offer what Mr. McLoughlin should applaud, a variety of choices for parents in our community.
Second, only a small minority of parents who entrust their students to me are wealthy, even if measured by President Obama’s standard of $250,000 as an income threshold. Private education represents a significant sacrifice for most of my parents, many of whom benefit from generous tuition assistance. Moreover, these same parents continue to pay taxes for a public educational system in which they are fully vested financially, but do not use. Thus, I have actually done our community a great service. I educate 370 students from Lynchburg and the surrounding counties, taking a burden off those school systems. Yet, my school families and I continue to support those very school systems with our tax dollars. Please do not suggest that I am not fully invested.
I find it fascinating that those on the Left such as Mr. McLoughlin often advocate tolerance, but openly support banning private schools. Such hostility suggests that Mr. McLoughlin is less interested in diversity of choice and thought, which private and parochial schools bring to our community, and more interested in reducing or eliminating their impact on the students they serve.
John Heaton, Headmaster