Vouchers Will Bring Confusion To Start Of School Year: FWCS Supt.

By Peter Ambrose
By Jeff Neumeyer

August 22, 2011 Updated Aug 22, 2011 at 5:28 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The Superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools fears Indiana's newly instituted voucher program will bring confusion to the start of the new school year.

The statement is timely, considering Monday marked a return to the classroom for tens of thousands of FWCS students.

At Bloomingdale Elementary School, re-learning letters of the alphabet was part of the day one agenda.

Families associated with Bloomingdale, Northwood Middle School, and other schools in the district have more school choices this year, as the state is now providing tuition assistance for several thousand folks statewide to enroll their kids in private schools.

Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson believes vouchers drain needed taxpayer money from public schools.

She has other beefs with vouchers, including her contention that vouchers often don't cover the full cost of private school tuition.

Wendy Robinson, Ed.D./FWCS Superintendent: " My concern is that we're going to end up having 'haves and have nots', the parents who truly understand how to get a voucher and the parents who will be left out of that opportunity because they don't.

Money remains tight in the budgets of most public schools.

Dr. Robinson says FWCS has been in "cut mode" for seven years now.

She says an adjustment made in the teacher's insurance package saved the district some money, and helped avoid a massive teacher layoff.

But she concedes, the budget is not in great condition, and belt tightening will continue to be a necessity for the foreseeable future.

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