From ............ NEWSWEEK
OCTOBER 21, 1996
GETTING WHAT YOU PAY FOR
I TAUGHT IN A CATHOLIC SCHOOL FOR four years ("Catechism Lessons," SOCIETY, Sept. 23). I had students who were learning-disabled as well as those who were gifted. I had kids who cared about education and kids who didn't. Their common thread? Mom and Dad wrote a check each month to Sister Trinita.
For many of my students' parents, that money represented a sacrifice. The connection between their money and their child's performance was real. Children did whatever work it took to pass because parents don't like it when their money is squandered.
Today, I teach in public school, but the clients are not savvy consumers. Were I a mother superior of the public schools, parents would pay their tax bill directly to the school. Maybe then they would understand the connection between their money and how their child spends his or her time in that building.
J. SUSANNE SIMMONS
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