Jan Resseger foresees that the Republican-dominated Ohio legislature is determined to expand vouchers for private and religious schools.

They are determined to divert more money and students away from public schools despite the compelling evidence that vouchers are harmful to students, most of whom will attend schools that are lower in quality than their public school.

Jan explains why public education is essential to our democracy, not as a consumer good, but as a civic responsibility:

If you are a supporter of public education, and in your state you face proposed legislation for school vouchers, you are unlikely to convince conservative Republicans to vote against vouchers.

The issue has become purely ideological—a matter of core belief. The late political theorist Benjamin Barber almost perfectly characterizes the divide between supporters of public institutions and the radical marketplace individualists:

“Privatization is a kind of reverse social contract: it dissolves the bonds that tie us together into free communities and democratic republics. It puts us back in the state of nature where we possess a natural right to get whatever we can on our own, but at the same time lose any real ability to secure that to which we have a right. Private choices rest on individual power… personal skills… and personal luck. Public choices rest on civic rights and common responsibilities, and presume equal rights for all. Public liberty is what the power of common endeavor establishes, and hence presupposes that we have constituted ourselves as public citizens by opting into the social contract. With privatization, we are seduced back into the state of nature by the lure of private liberty and particular interest; but what we experience in the end is an environment in which the strong dominate the weak… the very dilemma which the original social contract was intended to address.” (Consumed, pp. 143-144)