IOW, what would be fair is that the public should pay for an education in proportion to the benefit it receives and the individual should also. I don't see why this couldn't be turned into practical policy applicable at all levels of education - except for the politics of course.
But who can adjust with precise accuracy the amount which each individual in an organized civil community shall contribute to sustain it, or can insure in this respect absolute equality of burdens, and fairness in their distribution among those who must bear them?
We cannot say judicially that Kelly received no benefit from the city organization. These streets, if they do not penetrate his farm, lead to it. The water-works will probably reach him some day, and may be near enough to him now to serve him on some occasion. The schools may receive his children, and in this regard he can be in no worse condition than those living in the city who have no children, and yet who pay for the support of the schools. Every man in a county, a town, a city, or a State is deeply interested in the education of the children of the community, because his peace and quiet, his happiness and prosperity, are largely dependent upon the intelligence and moral training which it is the object of public schools to supply to the children of his neighbors and associates, if he has none himself.
KELLY v. CITY OF PITTSBURGH, 104 U.S. 78