Monday, February 24, 2014

Education Funding: Let Taxpayers Direct Their Own Education Dollars

Responding to a letter advocating universal government-run preschool, Raymond E. Williams (Preschool is only a start) wrote:

    [Retired U.S. Navy] Admiral John C. Harvey Jr. is absolutely correct about the need for preschool (“Defense strategy: Preschool,” Reader Forum, Nov. 7).
    But preschool is not the final answer if schooling after that is deficient. . .
    There’s more to the education than the first step. We have let down our kids. We have not properly funded public schools. We have diverted funds to charter schools.

I left these comments in Reply to Williams:

RE: Preschool is only a start

I agree that quality preschool is important. I also agree that preschool is not enough. It is widely acknowledged that, after more than a century of broad-based, universal K-12 government schooling, U.S. children on average still don't receive an adequate education and many receive a dismal education or even none at all. This, despite enormous sums of taxpayer money showered on the public education establishment.

But your solution to defund charter schools is exactly backwards. What about the parents (taxpayers) who voluntarily choose charters in search of a better education for their kids? Must their children be penalized and those who failed their children be rewarded with more taxpayer money? 

We need not just new but revolutionary thinking on this subject. How about a free market in education, where the moral rights of parents to control their children's education is reasserted, and educators vie for their business through robust competition on price, quality, and a long-neglected but crucial ingredient—educational philosophy? 

Rather than expand government education to preschool, or throwing more money at public schools at the expense of alternative choices for parents, we should be 
expanding individual liberty in education. The moral, rightful, and logical solution is to expand the opportunities for parents to get their children out of government schools. I laid out a plan toward free market education that would greatly expand the opportunities for parents in all income brackets to choose private education in this article for The Objective Standard: Toward a Free Market in Education: School Vouchers or Tax Credits?

Click here to read my reply to Admiral Harvey. I use every opportunity I can to plug the idea that those whose taxes fund the government schools should have the option of spending their own education dollars. I advocate tax credits as a means of opting a child—any child of one's choice—out of the government schools as a means of moving towards a fully free education market.

Related Reading:

Education Activist Michelle Rhee is Courageous, but No "Radical"

The Best Teacher Evaluation "Plan" is a Free Market in Education

Parent Trigger Laws Indicate Growing Strength of the Parental School Choice Movement.

No comments: