Opinion: Private schools and voucher programs should be encouraged

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Check out the counter opinion to this article here.

The state of Idaho should encourage private education as an alternative to state schools and public universities. Idaho could create long term plans to slowly transition to a private based system, in which parents choose where to send their kids and schools have to compete and try to offer the best product in order to attract students. In this system, schools no longer have a base of students that are required to attend, and now have to compete with other schools to maintain students. If students are forced to attend one school, then the school has no reason to try to improve.

Better for grades

In a Time Magazine article entitled, “Are Private Schools Really Better?” writer John Cloud makes an argument regarding the improved intellectual development of kids in private schools.

“SAT scores are the best predictor of how kids will do in their freshman year of college. And the data in the new study shows that private-school students outperform public-school students on the SAT,” Cloud said. “It appears private schools do more to develop students’ critical-thinking abilities. In short…sending your kid to private school is still a better way to ensure that he or she will get into college.”

Better for the budget

All public school systems are supported by taxpayers dollars. A predictable effect of this fact is the average cost per school is more expensive than that of private schools according to Hewellyn H. Rockwell, the founder and chairman of Mises Institute.

Currently many think private schooling is too expensive, because parents have to pay taxes along with additional fees for private schools. But if parents could choose which school they send their money to, then private schooling becomes much more affordable. People who can’t afford school would be given more opportunities to receive help. Private schools also offer scholarships, which will allow them to go to schools where they could receive a better education than they would otherwise.

Private school and voucher programs can also save the state money. An article in the Journal sentinel by author Erin Richards explains how Milwaukee’s school voucher program has saved the state millions of dollars.

“Milwaukee’s long-running school voucher program that allows certain children to attend private and religious schools at taxpayer expense has saved Wisconsin more than $238 million since its inception in 1990, according to a new study by a national voucher advocacy group,” Richards writes.

Better for free thought

In Murray N. Rothbard’s book Education: Free and Compulsory, Rothbard states the real reason that the “civic elite” are so worried about private school and home schooling isn’t that the children will not receive an education that is up to standard, but that they are unable to control exactly what they learn.”

This element of political bias is further explored in an article by Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte titled The Forum. Their research found that 72 percent of all college faculty reported themselves as liberal while only 15 percent reported themselves as conservative.

This political bias extends to more than just universities. The Plainfield Patch newspaper reported on a vocabulary quiz given to eighth grade students which contained political attacks against president Trump. Multiple teachers of the year released a letter stating they could no longer remain neutral in the 2016 election and had to attack Trump as teachers. And all students in the Chicago public school system were sent home with letters to their parents attacking president Trump and Illinois’ republican governor Bruce Rauner.

While everyone has the right to share their political opinion, parents should have the right to choose where their kids go if they feel their kids are being indoctrinated.

John Stossel is a journalist who has worked for NBC, ABC, and FOX. In an article for Fox News, Stossel summed up the shortcomings of public schools and their lack of options for students.

“I know that public school — government school is a better name — is one of the worst parts of America. It’s a stultified government monopoly. It never improves. Government schools are rigid, boring, expensive and more segregated than private schools,” Stossel said.

Every child should have the ability to go to a school that is best fit for him. Privatizing education is the most efficient way to allow children to go wherever is best for them.


About Author

I am a Media Arts major from Colorado, who is a sports enthusiast. My favorite sports are college football and basketball, and MMA. I believe that student media is important because it gives a recognizable voice from the media that is specifically made for students. I can't wait to contribute to the sports section of the arbiter. Go Broncos!

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