Skip to comments.Question About School Vouchers
Posted on 01/28/2011 6:21:04 PM PST by lostblueblood
I'm looking for some opinions out there. I was talking politics with one of my employees the other day and we got onto the topic of school vouchers. He's a huge proponent of them but I'm a fairly strong Libertarian so I'm against mandatory or public schooling of any form. He is very passionate about it but isn't very good at arguing his points and recommended I looked through here for some enlightenment.
I searched around a bit but didn't find a lot of arguments one way or another and I was wondering if anyone could give me a good concise argument for why vouchers would be better than completely pulling the government out of any sort of education what so ever. Or even point me to some resources where I could read up more on this theory myself.
I think the libertarian argument, conceding that kids should go to school (iffy I know) is that the schools should be self-funding.
The best way to do this is to use half the kids for medical experiments and prostitute the other half to paying customers. That way at least half the kids’ day is spent being educated.
//do I need a sarcasm tag??
Vouchers provide a means for someone to move their child to a better school. This presupposes a public school system and that there is a good reason to move one’s child around.
A voucher that allows a parent to select another public school (but not a private school) means that the the money stays within the public schools so there is less frantic opposition to such vouchers from both the school system and the teacher’s union.
When the vouchers allow a choice of a non-religious, private school, the money leaves the public system and the level of opposition goes up several notches.
When the vouchers allow a choice of a religious, private school, the money leaves the public system and the level of opposition goes up several notches, about three octaves and about 80 decibels. Also, you will get church-state arguments in this case.
In the last two cases, the vouchers will come with strings attached. The schools that accept such vouchers will be required to teach some of those things that are the cause of people fleeing the public schools. Think Trojan Horse.
The only way to avoid that is to privatize public schools completely, which would then cause the teacher’s unions to go completely crazy. I would not put private school bombings beyond them - they are unions, after all.
You are, of course, correct in that education is both historically and constitutionally not a function of the federal government. As a state issue, however, the record is more mixed. The 10th Amendment says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
From a Libertarian perspective, education ought to fall under the responsibility of the people. Practically and historically speaking, the American people have disagreed since before the Revolution. Public education has existed wherever there have been enough parents to form a school board. “Public” varies according to place and era. Some early ‘public’ schools would be indistinguishable from our ‘private’ schools in the amount of responsibility placed upon parents.
This brings us to today: how should education, a good desirable to all, be provided? This begs the question of whether a one-size-fits-all solution ought to be imposed.
A high school in Montana may have co-ed basketball in a live-in dormitory because all the children in a hundred-mile territory are needed to form a squad. A high school in Rhode Island might easily be shut down and sold off to a magnet school company without disruption. Obviously, federalism allows the best solution for each state to occur in each individual state.
Thus, a practical Libertarian view might be to call for the privatization of schools in highly populous states, and to ignore prairie socialism as an anomaly of falling population. After all, it’s the inner-city schools that are the sad exemplars of Communism in action, anyway.
I suspect you would not enjoy living in a modern where most of the kids didn’t go to school.
Once you realize public schooling is better than no public school funding.
Vouchers is a way to out competition into a public funded school system.
Here’s some info...
Post 3 is right. Vouchers are a Trojan Horse. Tax credits would be far less dangerous, but shutting the failed government school system down is the right answer.
Opponents to vouchers support the NEA and don’t want kids going to schools not under their control. Secondly, religious school students score much higher than public school students, and the seperationists don’t support it. Primarily, vouchers allow students out of the public system. In Colorado Springs District 11, I was allowed to move my daughter to a better school with the use of a permit that I had to apply for, which evens out the school populations. Also, voucher systems are generally designed to move money on an equity basis.
School vouchers will destroy inner suburban private schools in the same way Section 8 rent vouchers destroyed inner suburban neighborhoods.
It should be whatever the states decide. The feds should have nothing to do with public education.
Why do I suspect you attended a government school?
Why do I suspect that you attended a government school?
I live in an area where my “district” is my county. We have 1 district for the whole county. That cuts overhead due to having only 1 set of leadership. I also live in a very large suburb.
Currently, my district is “open enrollment”. That means you can send your child to any public school in the county. I have a school that is mapped to my address and provides bus service, however, I can enroll at any school during our open enrollment phase as long as that school has space and I am willing to drive them.
Our school board just approved a plan for school vouchers. The concept is that they want the money to follow the child. Our voucher program will include private and religious schools. The district is doing this to give even more choice to parents and control of $ back in the hands of the parents. They also say that it is a way for the district to reduce over-crowding and close the budget gap.
We have one of the best school districts in our state and it is because of the control and choices given to parents. No school is not an option. I do believe it is a local issue. Not all districts in my state operate this way. For our county, the proof is in the quality of education and student performance.
I LOVE the idea that my education $ follow my children and I get to choose what is best for them. No vouchers and open enrollment do NOT destroy underperforming schools. In fact, it has made ours much stronger and more competitive.
1. Parents must pay directly for their children's education.
2. Fathers must raise their kids.
Since the majority of parents in this country are addicted to OPiuM (Other People's Money), vouchers are a method to allow parents more control of their children's education and allow competition to improve education. It is a "next best" solution to item number 1.
Unfortunately, "under-performing" or "impoverished" schools won't be served by free-market solutions; they are money-losing ventures, so the only way children in such areas are likely to receive any education is if the government provides it.
I'm all in favor of vouchers, though. If it's my own tax money being spent to educate my children, I ought to be able to spend it to educate them as I see fit. To appease the voucher-haters, I propose vouchers should refund around 80% of the amount the school system would spend per student. I'll make-up the difference (if any) for private school out of my pocket; the public school gets to keep 20% of the funds for students they are no longer responsible for. Anyone who still opposes vouchers with a deal like that is more concerned with power and control than they are the quality of education.
I see vouchers as a step in the right direction, not the final answer to the pit that is our current public school system.
How so? It empowers parents more, empowers private industry more, weakens the unions, rewards the better teachers and administrators, and saves taxpayer money.
“I suspect you would not enjoy living in a modern where most of the kids didnt go to school.”
Human beings did not “depend upon” public school until about 100 years ago.
I don’t think things have much improved.
The best argument for school vouchers is that it will gut the teachers unions and improve education greatly.
The best argument against them is that the government is involved in vouchers and will eventually pervert school vouchers into something as bad as the current system. Also, how do you feel about school vouchers being used to send kids to a radical muslim school where they only study the Koran?
There is also the constitutional issue. What the heck is the federal government doing in education anyway, vouchers or not?
great post. My specific comments:how do you feel about school vouchers being used to send kids to a radical muslim school where they only study the Koran?
That is a subset of the more general problem, which is that on the one hand we support the ability of the parents to control their own children's education - and yet, each of us has an interest in the education of other people's kids. We have that natural interest because it is a blessing to us when other people's children grow up to be virtuous and competent - and we live with the consequences when they do not.There is also the constitutional issue. What the heck is the federal government doing in education anyway, vouchers or not?
When you consider that a dedicated parent aided by modern technology will generally do a better job educating his/her own children than even the local school board, the idea that the federal government staffed by people "who don't even know what time zone your child is in" has a legitimate role in your child's education is risible.
Now to the extent that children's education is in schools and therefore subject to disruption due to parents' relocation for economic opportunity, is true that /I>, there is a rationale for nationwide standardization of the curriculum so that kids end up leaving high school having had 12 years of education rather than 1 year of education 12 times.
—By using the financial strings attached to vouchers could control the curriculum of the private schools.
—Also...Looks what is happening to colleges and universities. Pell Grants and student loans are essentially vouchers. Every time the the grants and loans are increased tuition rises.
The benefits and opportunities of vouchers:
—They could build the infrastructure needed for a move to complete privatization.
—Vouchers could be a means to break up the powerful teacher union and school employee lobby.
—As it is now, most Americans can not even imagine a world without government schools. Vouchers would help wean Americans away from their dependence on their welfare entitlement to tuition-free schooling for their children.
As a person with strong libertarian leanings I would support vouchers only as a temporary measure. Gradually, the amount of the voucher should be reduced until parents are fully responsible for their own children's education. Charity would pay for the poor.
By the way,...Tax credits are a far better idea, but these too should merely be a means to wean the American parent from their dependence on their collectivist government school education welfare.