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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Arithmetic of school vouchers

What are the pluses and minuses for the education of all our children?

A few years ago in a section of Youngstown, Ohio, change set in. Restaurants closed and soup kitchens opened; thrift shops replaced clothing stores; banks left and check-cashing stores arrived. Even the public school closed because of the building's structural problems. The Roman Catholic elementary school also planned to shut its doors.

But soon hope rose up — New Hope Academy. Sponsored by the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown and the Ursaline Sisters, the school opened two years ago and now serves more than 200 elementary students. Because of corporate sponsorship, more than half the children pay no tuition.

New Hope Academy illustrates what many Lutherans in education believe: There are many ways to improve the quality of U.S. education. No one program — specifically the growing voucher movement (see ‘Voucher victory in Wisconsin’) — will cure all the ills.


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September issue

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