Meeks wants vouchers for 50,000 students

Arguing that Chicago Public Schools are “broken’’ and that parents deserve a “choice,’’ mayoral challenger James Meeks said Wednesday he would offer $4,500-a-year vouchers to 50,000 low-and-middle-income Chicago families to use toward private school tuition.

During a news conference outside the mayor’s office Wednesday, Meeks argued that Chicago Public Schools are “broken” and that it’s high-time to give families “a choice in their child’s educational future.”

“We have 47,000 students in magnet schools. We have 36,000 students in charter or contract schools. Why not give at least 50,000 students a choice to attend any school of their choosing while we’re fixing this broken educational system?” Meeks said.

“I see nothing wrong with giving children and their family a choice. I like hamburgers. I like McDonald’s. But I’m glad that I can go to White Castle every now and then. … Competition can only make us better. We should not be afraid of embracing vouchers for school choice.”

Low- and middle-income students would have the first crack at vouchers under Meeks’ plan. The $4,500 stipends, provided by the state, could be used to pay private school tuition.

Meeks said the $4,500 stipend would come from state funds.

Read more: http://www.suntimes.com/2860365-418/meeks-chicago-schools-students-vouchers.html