Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Charter Schools and their Reactionary Enemies--Part 3

Pft1234 posted a slew of additional replies to my initial comments. But in the end, her argument came down to collectivism:

And by the way your anti-charter screed is nothing more than a quick sound-bite and is not pertinent to the issues. Personally I and many others don't have an opinion of whether charters are good or bad- I care about equal treatment and full funding for all students attending all public schools. When any mechanism short changes or allows the short changing of education for all students, then I take issue.

Here is my response:

This is fundamentally a moral issue. Who should rightfully control the education of the children, the parents or some remote board, elected or not. Who should control the spending of education dollars, the parents and taxpayers who earn the money, or some government board. To whom should the educators and schools be accountable, bean-counting bureaucrats or the parents? Who are the stakeholders that count, the myriad political factions that fight for control of the government apparatus for the purpose of imposing their education schemes on all parents, or the parents? A free market answers the parents, and that’s where we should be headed. Beyond charters, universal parental school choice based on tax credits should be the next step. How is it fair for any school or district to continue to collect funding if the parents choose another option? A school that loses students to parental choice should lose the requisite funding.

Let me pose a question to public school proponents. If public schools are so good, why do they need to collect their revenues and their customers—their students—by force to exist? Don’t you think parents exercising their full free market liberty to direct the course of their own child’s education would voluntarily send their kids to your schools, and voluntarily pay you for them?


The idea of “full funding for all students attending all public schools” needs to be explored a little further.

As I said in my initial comments, “Reactionary defenders of the education establishment are seeking to block these parents to protect their monopolistic status quo.”

Full funding of education through taxes and public schools are not the same issue. The first is wrong, but does not necessarily require the second, centralized control of education. There are two questions: Should the government guarantee funding for every child’s education? and Should the government run and/or regulate the schools?

In a free market, we wouldn’t have either. But we can divide the issue into these two questions. Granted, government funding through taxation opens the door wide for government regulation (He who pays the piper, calls the tune). But a taxpayer guarantee of the financial means for each child to get an education is very popular and unlikely to be dislodged any time soon. However, direct government schooling is an easier target to challenge, given the popularity of parental school choice.

From an education free market perspective, separating school funding and school administration opens the door to a path forward. We can work with the education tax structure to advocate universal parental school choice, while fighting like hell to minimize government regulations.

Related Reading:

A Newark, NJ Mother Demonstrates the Educational Power of Parental School Choice

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