School Choice funding without school vouchers



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School Choice
without Vouchers

The time has come for
SCHOOL CHOICE in every state

Way back in September 1992 a Gallup poll showed 70% overall support for School Choice, with 86% support among blacks, and 84% among Hispanics. Minorities are acutely aware that poorly performing schools keep them in an underclass. Why are state legislators still dragging their feet? The government education monopoly is protecting its turf and they control a lot of money and votes.

We buy other services from the private sector, why not education? Let's move into the 21st century with a CHOICE. Here are some characteristics that any School Choice plan should meet.

 School Choice without vouchers

  Empower Parents With Financial Control.
School Choice is already creating profound competition-induced changes needed to give America's children a world-class education now. When parents, not the bureaucrats, direct taxpayer education dollars, the schools improve.

Follow What Works.
In 1944 School Choice proved its ability to produce results; the GI Bill succeeded in making American colleges the envy of the world. People picked their school in a competitive market, based on enlightened self-interest. It worked! The best schools flourished, education flourished. America vaulted ahead of the world. Now, School Choice is in effect in progressive countries around the world. Some form of School Choice has been endorsed by nearly every presidential candidate since the mid 1980's. But schools are properly a STATE issue, and state politicians are reluctant to upset the school monopoly - the largest employer in nearly every state legislator's voting district.

Require Results.
The most important component of any School Choice plan is that legislators may only mandate results. Let the teachers decide how to exceed the goals. There must be no big-brother dictation of how results are accomplished, and no attempt to control the schools' curriculum! Accreditation must only consider the school's ability to produce students capable of passing statewide competency tests prescribed by the legislature. To be fair, and to encourage schools that cater to exceptionalities, children with exceptionalities must be rated on a scale that challenges their full potential.

Keep Score.
The State's main job should be to keep score so parents and students can make decisions based on reliable information and comparisons. Publicize results and options (schools offering special programs, success with certain exceptionalities, etc.).

Avoid Regulations.
Parents can judge the school's methods, and whether a school is doing a good job and "vote with their feet" based on results. The choice, for example, of whether classes should be held in a traditional school, an office building, or in a field, should be up to teachers, not someone in the state capitol. If teachers and principals make inappropriate choices, parents can force corrections or leave. Even the quirky and inefficient school building codes can be eliminated.

Commit Permanently.
Market forces do not react to pilot programs. Only a permanent re-allocation of resources can prompt entrepreneurs to turn buildings into innovative schools and develop staff and curricula to meet the needs of today's students. There is no need to "test" School Choice. That is a blatant stalling tactic. It already works at the college level, and has been successful in other countries.

Make Public, Private, And Religious Schools Equal.
The GI bill empowered the people (not an education bureaucracy) to decide where to spend their education dollars. There was no subsidy to favor or disfavor any religious group. The subsidy favored the student, avoids the specious "church/state entanglement" argument, and has been OK'd by the supreme court in four test cases.

Avoid New Formulas.
Start with the current per-child funding formulas (state Educational Funding Plan). Make no attempts at social re-engineering.

Pay For Results.
In future years, revise the formula to one that is results-based instead of cost-based.  Look at our dismal International Test Scores.  There is nowhere to go but up.

Don't Discriminate.
Reject the notion that Choice should benefit poor people disproportionately (that implementation requires a tax return mechanism). If we use tax dollars to support education, let's get over the specious class-warfare arguments and fund ALL kids. That's not a new concept. Rich kids currently benefit from government schools by simply showing up. Nobody stands at the door turning them away based on financial status.

Reduce Cost.
Our government schools are the most expensive in the world. Government buys all other types of services from the private sector, why not education services? Private & parochial schools nationwide get superior results at half the cost. Make the initial credits worth only 80% of what the government schools currently get. This saves money from day one, leaving more for remaining schools. Choice relieves overcrowding, and the extremely high cost of new government school buildings.

Protect The Taxpayer.
Deposit directly to the student's account at the school of their parent's choice on a monthly basis according to attendance rolls (truancy begets no revenue). Don't create vouchers people need to qualify for. Make it work the way government schools get paid now - the money simply follows the kids. Let outcomes determine whether the money is wisely spent. When "bad" schools fail to attract students, the financial loss to taxpayers is minimal, more than offset by the benefit of cleansing the system of a poorly performing school. This is far less costly than the present system of throwing more money at non-performing schools.

Let Good Teachers Earn More.
Competition for teachers and administrators who get results has significantly raised professional wages, and freed teachers to choose and to innovate as professional educators. See Article on Teacher Pay. Education Week proved Choice works to benefit teachers. See the "Big Secret" unions don't want teachers to know.



I want people to be able to get what they need to live: enough food, a place to live, and an education for their children. Government does not provide these as well as private charities and businesses.

Colonel David Crockett, member of Congress 1827-32, 1832-35

This article brought to you by 4Choice, dedicated to School Choice without School Vouchers.

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