Nickolas Roberson | United States
This past month of February, teachers in West Virginia, California, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have been leaving their classrooms to take part in strikes all in the name of increasing wages, compensation, and school funding. Their numbers ranged from the hundreds to the tens of thousands depending on the state. Their demands have ranged as well, from a salary increase of few thousand dollars to salary increase of $11,000 dollars, the grand sum of these demands is that teachers want more from the government– in the name of themselves, their families, and especially their students. However, rather than receiving more tax dollars from state and federal governments, there is a better, more sustainable solution; privatize the education system.
A Free Market Education
A free market is a place of competition, fair pricing, and most importantly, of freedom. You have the freedom to choose what product or service to purchase, how much to pay, the quality of the product or service, and you have the freedom to create a business as you see fit.
Furthermore, the free market is a place of near constant innovation. Businesses must improve themselves to compete with other businesses. They find ways to make their products and services cheaper, more efficient, and of high quality, along with a plethora of other innovations. The most successful business would find a perfect balance between all these factors, thus forcing their competitors to do the same. Now, if the free market had complete control over the realm of education, schools would fall in the same category businesses are in, and would follow the same natural rules of the marketplace to stay successful.
Public v. Private
Before this piece continues further, I would like to clarify that this is not a total condemnation of public education. Rather, as a strictly economic view on the subject, privatized education would be a benefit to all when compared to public education.
Now, when comparing the costs of public and private schooling, studies indicate that public education of a single student is nearly twice what it would cost to fund a private education of one student. The myth believed by the general public is that public education is “free.” This cannot be further from the truth. The costs vary per state, but taxpayer dollars collected by the government fund public education; it is not free. Privatizing the education system would save valuable tax dollars as private individuals would pay out of their own pocket. Since the consumer would force schools to decrease their cost due to competition, the price of education would lower when compared to what they are currently.
Additionally, different types of schools would be developed to satisfy certain niches within society. Schools will create their own schedules and specialized classes to meet the desires of their consumers; classrooms will range from the standard 30 students per class down to five students or even one-on-one mentoring. Due to the lack of governmentally forced standardized testing, schools would finally be able to focus on improving the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their pupils.
Teachers would also be paid at competitive rates depending on the demand for their services; no longer would they have to rely on the whims of federal and state governments. Rather, consumers will pay their desired amounts for education and the entrepreneurs running the privatized schools would pay the teachers at satisfactory rates.
All in all, the privatization of education would solve the multitude of controversies surrounding said field. Rather than the government dictating the options, consumers would have total freedom to choose the form of education they receive. This could be the most prestigious private schools
, competitively priced and efficient academies, or even schools that are funded through private donations. Furthermore, classes would become more specialized to satisfy the demands of consumers rather than being forced to follow the mind-numbing rulings of government standardization. Finally, education would no longer be stagnant, and the minds of individuals would be opened and expanded upon by the free market.
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