Wednesday, March 20, 2013

School Choice is About Freedom, not "Union-Busting"

This letter appeared in the NJ Star-Ledger on March 20, 2013:

Reject school vouchers 
Gov. Chris Christie, a rich and powerful white man, goes into a black neighborhood and tells them he’s the only one who cares about their children. If they don’t do what Christie says, then they don’t care. The condescension is breathtaking. He should never stop apologizing. 
The greatest difference between success and failure in education is money. This is the dirty little secret of education policy. Conservatives have decided to use the education crisis as an excuse for some good old-fashioned union-busting. Unfortunately, we are not going to bust our way to school excellence. Voucher programs’ main function is subversion of the teacher’s union. 
John L. Ard Jr., Summit 

I left these comments:

RE: Reject School Vouchers

It is clear from John Ard's letter that the primary purpose for opposing vouchers is to preserve the imperial power of the teachers union. After all, despite Ard's Orwellian inversion of the facts, Christie wants to give parents freedom of educational choice, while the teachers union--like modern-day George Wallaces in reverse--are standing in the schoolhouse door, seeking to keep students trapped in schools that, in the judgment of the parents voluntarily seeking vouchers, do not educate. It's the teachers union that wants to impose its will by denying parents their rightful choice.

While I am personally opposed to vouchers, because I don't believe taxpayers should fund private schools, I support the concept of universal school choice through tax credits. All parents should be free to opt their kids out of the government schools, with credits against their own education taxes or the taxes of any other taxpayers willing to put up the money. 

Yes, education is largely about the money; specifically, about recognizing the rights of those who earned the money to spend their education dollars as they see fit. The public schools deny this right. They are built on physical coercion--compulsory taxation and compulsory attendance laws. The teachers union feeds directly off of this coercion, making it akin to a criminal organization (unlike private sector unions, of which I am a member).

Ard is dead wrong. School choice is not about union-busting. It is about the rights of parents to direct the course of their own children's education, and about the educational excellence and affordability that flows from competition in a free (or even freer) market. It makes no difference to conscientious parents whether their children's teachers or schools are unionized or not. It only matters whether their children are getting a quality education that meets their standards. 

Related Reading:

Christie's Bewildering Race Card

Toward a Free Market in Education: School Vouchers or Tax Credits

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

'Laws' forcing the funding of gvt. schools and forcing attendance don't form or contribute to any legal environment safe for legitimate activity. They are criminal plans which are given phys. pwr. meant for law & gvt., thus providing an environment safe for crime. This provision & its enforcement is crime, & those behind it are crooks. Beneficiary crooks naturally move in. So there's the teachers' union. It's the same as the criminal environment established for employment in the U.S. mining & mfg. industries. So came those unions: crooks ushered in & harbored by crooks who set up the criminal regime, right under the noses of law & gvt. and using the phys. pwr. of law & gvt. If these are 'private' unions, they're still no more legitimate than unions in 'gvt.' schools.

(I don't apply these statements to the union you're a member of, a plumbers union, I assume. I'm sure there are substantial private unions which are completely legitimate.)

In facing the adversary in the issue of separation of education & state, I believe the day will come when we'll have to show them a mean, accusing face & tell them what they are: crooks running a criminal regime with phys. pwr. meant for law & gvt. We'll have to tell them what we're going to do about it: take that phys. pwr. away from them & put it back under law & gvt., then establish the legal environment for education.