May 31, 2004

Jacoby on School Choice

Jeff Jacoby at

The public education system is essentially a monopoly, and like most monopolies, it wastes money, performs indifferently, and doesn't much care if its customers -- American mothers and fathers -- are satisfied. But give those mothers and fathers the same freedom of choice when it comes to their kids' education that they have when it comes to their kids' shoes or dinner, and all of that would change.

State and local governments should stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars to run public schools directly. Instead they should spend the money on vouchers that would let parents freely choose the schools their children attend. Education would still be compulsory. It would still be publicly financed. But no longer would it be the inferior, one-size-fits-all product of sclerotic government bureaucracies. Vouchers would transform education into a vibrant and competitive free market, with all the innovation, flexibility, and accountability that implies.

Posted by dan at May 31, 2004 11:00 PM