Legislators and Parents Debate Voucher Referendum

Legislators and Parents Debate Voucher Referendum

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On October 17, 2007, KSL 5 Eyewitness News aired a report evaluating the truth of certain claims made in recent political advertisements. One portion of this report evaluated ads being aired by both proponents and opponents of Referendum 1. In the story, KSL took no position for or against Referendum 1, and no position either for or against Referendum 1 was intended to be implied by the story. Recently, an organization that supports Referendum 1 sent out a direct mail flier quoting portions of KSL's news story as support for that organization's views about Referendum 1. KSL believes that the flier implies that KSL itself produced, or was at least involved in producing, the flier. This is not the case.

Indeed, the KSL Editorial Board has aired an editorial stating that it is opposed to Referendum 1. KSL strongly encourages all citizens to carefully and independently research this and other political issues before casting their votes at the polls.

Tonya Papanikolas Reporting This morning, advocates and opponents debated the pros and cons of vouchers at the Salt Lake City Library, but it's not just legislators and spokesmen talking about the issue. Parents on both sides say the voucher decision is very personal to them.

Sheila McKinley spent part of the day at the Salt Palace talking to educators about vouchers. McKinley has a personal interest in the subject: Her son attends a voucher school in Milwaukee. "My son was not adjusting in public school. His class consisted of about 32 kids in his class," she said.

McKinley says her son was afraid to ask questions, but that changed when she enrolled him in a private voucher school. My son was then put into a class where there were eight students in a class. He got that one-on-one attention that he needed," McKinley said.

Today she shared that story with others in the hope of changing minds, but some parents have already made up their minds against vouchers.

Ann Florence's children also attended private school for a time, not on vouchers. She says it wasn't a better education. "I do know that my son had 12 in his writing class, but I also know that the teachers were not trained in the latest in teaching strategies," Florence explained.

Florence says she also sees that education gap as a junior high teacher. "I've taught several kids from private schools. They are not my strongest students," she said.

While Florence admits private school is great for some, she believes taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill for those who want that private education. "For me to ask them to give their tax money because we chose a private school, I would refuse to take it," she said.

But, McKinley did. She says vouchers were a God-send she couldn't afford on her own. "I was recently divorced, wasn't able to financially do this," she said.

Though they share two different opinions, both parents say they want the best for their children.

The public will vote on the voucher referendum next Tuesday.

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