Public education: Taxpayer rights, and school choice saves money

The Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey wrote an article titled, “Taxpayers Have Rights, Too,” where he addressed the so-called “right” of public sector union collective bargaining. At the end of the article he addresses the additional problem that comes with politicalized schools – which is the unavoidable result of having government control education (emphasis is mine):

“Even more central to equally respecting all people’s rights, though, is that the best an elected body can do is represent the majority of taxpayers. Any taxpayers who disagree will have their rights to freely come to terms with those whom they employ violated.

Notably, the impossibility of protecting everyone’s rights is a problem when it comes to not just public-school employment, but anything people can conceivably disagree about, whether it’s the teaching of evolution, reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or choosing a school mascot. As long as government decides such things, people’s rights to determine for themselves what their children will learn, or with what educators they will associate, will be violated.

The solution to this is freedom: Let people decide for themselves with whom they will do business and under what terms, and everyone’s rights will be on an equal footing. It would be an especially easy thing to do in education, where private schools already educate millions of children and would proliferate if they didn’t have to compete with ‘free’ alternatives.

Unfortunately, there are two major obstacles in the way: education politics, and the teachers’ unions that dominate it. To equally respect everyone’s rights, politicians would have to end the public schooling monopoly, setting both educators and parents free. But that would decimate union power, and all their current rhetoric about rights notwithstanding, unions would fight madly to keep that from happening.

On that topic – Terry Paulson writes this at

“Maybe it’s time ‘we the people’ just blew our educational system wide open, and I don’t mean improve the Department of Education. Improvements are for wimps. I mean abolish it. Deep six it. Eliminate, toss, obliterate it; give it the old heave-ho; force it to walk the plank. It is broken and it’s wasting money our government doesn’t have while limiting education of our young people.

Continuing studies by the Pacific Research Institute have found that there are proven options that cost less, produce better results and keep and reward the best teachers and schools. It’s time we do more than read about what other countries are doing to become more American than America.”

Kyle Olson at notes the cost-savings potential of school choice:

“Former presidential advisor and best-selling author Dick Morris believes that newly elected Republican legislators in Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and other states will explore school choice options to help remedy huge budget deficits.

In an interview with EAGtv, Morris said the failures of the nation’s public education system are obvious, and are tied to a lack of competition and choice inherent in the capitalistic system America was founded on. The reality of enormous state budget deficits will force newly elected lawmakers to return to those principles, Morris said.

‘They are going to say Well, do I want to spend $13,000 per student in a public school, or a better education at $8,000 in a charter school,’ Morris told EAGtv. ‘I think they are going to see the value of the $8,000.'”