Salt Lake City, UT – On Wednesday, October 3, 2007, Sutherland Institute President Paul T. Mero and Patrick M. Byrne, chairman of the board and CEO of Overstock.com, will participate in a voucher discussion starting at 7:00 pm in UVSC’s Learning Resource Center, Room LC 243.
“It is important that voucher policy is clearly addressed and understood before the November 6 vote,” said Mero. “The school vouchers debate should not be focused on power or money. We should be talking about the 40 percent of students in Utah’s Hispanic and African-American communities who are not graduating with a diploma. Vouchers would help these low-income minority students get a leg up.”
Mero and Byrne will be debating Kim Burningham, chair of the Utah State Board of Education, and Marilyn Kofford, from Utahns for Public Schools. This vouchers debate is part of UVSC’s monthly ethics forum and is open to the public.
“Education is the most important domestic issue facing America,” said Byrne. “If we can’t fix the system, we’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as a nation. If we could fix it with methods such as vouchers, we can give every child the opportunity to experience the American dream.”
Comparing school vouchers to food stamps, another form of vouchers already used by many Utahns, Byrne added, “If someone said you have to spend your food stamps at a government-run grocery store, I think we would have the wits to say, ‘There’s no special reason that government has any special edge in producing or distributing groceries. Why do we think the government has a special edge in producing or distributing education?’”
Mero and Byrne recently participated in a two-hour debate aired September 25, 2007 on “FreeCapitalist Radio.”