Letter to Editor re: Loyalty to Public Schools

Dear Editor:

I didn’t know if I should be mortified or amused at Steven Rice’s letter of January 30 in the OC Register Commentary section, criticizing those donors who have given generously to St. Margaret’s Episcopal School ($40 million), and instead urging them to give to the Capistrano School District. It is the base premise of the left that the bureaucracy of government is more effective than the ability and ingenuity of the private sector, so it ought not come as a surprise that Mr. Rice insulted the wealthy donors to this fine school by using an unbecoming (and silly) guilt manipulation approach. What was absolutely bizarre, though, is that Mr. Rice answered his own question when wondering why these donors chose to give a quality private school. He said, “Public school classes are getting larger and larger. Teachers struggle for support. Enrichment programs in the arts and sciences are being slashed.” Wow, that sounds like the place I would like to park my funds!

Perhaps the generous support bestowed upon St. Margaret’s (and other fine private schools around the country) should be taken as the sign that they truly represent: We will not tolerate the public school system continuing to fail to educate our children, and to continue to fail in developing character and values in our young people. As parents, we not only have rights that people like Mr. Rice despise, but we have obligations. Those obligations demand that we pursue the most excellent opportunities available for our children. Per Mr. Rice’s own letter, those opportunities surely are not in the Capistrano School District. For fifty years we have been told increased funding will fix what is wrong with California public education. For fifty years the results have progressively gotten worse. The wealthy donors who have set St. Margaret’s up for the next generation should be commended for caring as much as they do.