Regarding Susan Pendergrass’ guest column “Pandemic underscores Missouri education’s crisis of trust” (Feb. 1): No, just no. No school choice. No taxpayer money to private schools. Failing public schools? Shame, shame on us. Make those schools excellent. Get them funds and new, sparkling buildings with beautiful landscaping and the best technology, along with small teacher-student ratios. Provide enough counselors, psychologists and social workers to actually meet the needs of students and their families.
Do kids in poorer neighborhoods want to go to a private school with rich kids? How are they going to get there and establish friendships with kids with whom they have little in common? It’s better for the school to be the center, the heartbeat of the neighborhood with kids walking to school together, parents waving and chatting with each other.
No, put my tax money toward making those “failing” schools excellent. Give every child an equitable chance. Excellent public school education for all children, no matter the ZIP code. Let the private schools fend for themselves.
Frances Carney • Hazelwood