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Finding an All-Inclusive School Choice Plan

Regarding the editorial "Chelsea's Choice of School," Jan. 8: I am disturbed by the final two sentences. The editorial states that President Bush's broad-based choice plan would "siphon public money into private and parochial institutions" and "would undercut public education."

You seem to forget that such an all-inclusive choice plan is actually putting a free-enterprise type of competition into effect. Such competition can go from one extreme to another. You assume that the outcome would be in favor of private and parochial education.

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It is possible, however, that public education in some places could become so effective that many students attending private schools or being taught at home would rather opt to attend public school. If we are to experience the full dynamic, catalytic influence on education reform that is expected from a choice plan, the more far-reaching and broad-based type is more likely to provide this much-needed impetus. Public schools will suffer only if it is allowed to happen. Eugene Henderson, Lacey, Washington

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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