Time for School Vouchers

The mayor announced the elimination of the Gifted & Talented program, which gives a step up to our most promising students.
This decision by the mayor has been a long time coming, and is a last-ditch, scorched-earth policy before he leaves office that burdens the rest of the education system.
The ever growing gaps in a failing system will get wider. The numbers over the last eight years of the de Blasio administration are abysmal.
Roughly 22 percent of the 1.1 million children in the public school system can pass one of the statewide test in math and English. In the Bronx, there are some schools that have a 4 percent passing rate.
When are the parents of this city going to wake up and demand a proper education for our students?
Your tax dollars fund the school system to a tune of over $32 billion a year and growing.
I am a staunch advocate for private vouchers, which gives parents a choice of where to send their child and not be subject to sending a student to a failing local school.
As of 2021, New York City spends over $27,000 per student. My plan is to give $15,000 vouchers to parents for private school education, redeemable to the city comptroller by the schools.
This would save the city $12,000 per student and drastically reduce classroom sizes, allowing students to get the attention they deserve and actually learn something.
The best part of having a choice in where your child goes to school is that you can shop around and make a decision that is best for you, not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Another benefit to this system is saving any of the voucher not used for tuition for college. Student loan debt is one of the biggest gripes for graduates.
We can hope that better minds prevail in a new administration and our children’s educational future.

Thomas Zmich is the Republican candidate for Queens borough president.

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