A new Education Week interview with Michelle Rhee, the no-nonsense former Chancellor of the D.C. public school system, focused on what she thinks about vouchers. After all, as the interviewer put it, “broadly speaking, she’s been a strong backer of school choice.”

For example, Rhee supports public school choice, including expanding charter schools and open enrollment so children can attend schools beyond their resident district. She also supports parent trigger plans that allow parents to vote to convert failing district-run schools to charter schools. “But her views of private school choice have received a lot less attention,” according to the interviewer.

Rhee, who now heads StudentsFirst, explained that she supports voucher programs targeting low-income children in failing schools but opposes universal voucher programs where a set amount of public dollars is directed to students to take to whatever schools they wish, including private schools (much like federal Pell Grants and GI Bill grants follow college students).

“I don’t think it makes sense to subsidize families who are already sending their kids to private schools, anyway,” Rhee explained. “I’m not a voucher proponent in the way that some people would want me to be.” To be sure, there are good, honest policy debates about vouchers versus other vehicles for private-school choice (such as tax-credit scholarships, making tuition tax-deductible, and educational savings accounts). Rhee’s rationale, however, isn’t one of them.

Let’s break the argument down: The public shouldn’t be expected to subsidize the education of children whose parents can afford to pay for it themselves. That’s the crux of the objection—the type of schools parents happen to think is best for their children is irrelevant. This objection is also based on a false assumption that private-school parents are rich, and public-school parents are poor. A quick review of the facts reveals that in reality, the current public-school financing system more closely resembles a subsidy for the non-poor than any voucher program.

Currently, nearly 19 percent of the country’s nearly 50 million public-school children live in poverty. This means taxpayers are subsidizing approximately 40 million public-school students whose parents are not poor, likely earning about $50,000, the median American household income.

So applying Rhee’s reasoning to the public-schooling sector, there are a whole lot of American taxpayers—in particular those who those who do not have children in public school, including parents of private-school students—subsidizing families who should be expected to pay for their children’s education themselves.