"it is evident that the purpose of the public funds are to educate children, thus indirectly benefiting all society, not to necessarily support a public school system." - Frederick Hess, Common Sense School Reform
The following is an essay I wrote advocating school vouchers. School Choice and vouchers were one of the first issues I took interest in when I began becoming involved in politics and this is one of my first serious essays. Iwill include the first two paragraphs here and links to both an html version and Word Document version of the full essay.
In order to effectively reform education every aspect of education must be questioned, including why the government funds education in the first place. Education has what Milton Friedman in “Capitalism and Freedom” describes as “neighborhood effects” (86), meaning that it benefits society as a whole and since the beneficiaries of education can not all be charged individually in any practical way the government collects taxes and pays on their behalf. Following this logic Frederick Hess in “Common Sense School Reform” writes that it is evident that the purpose of the public funds are to educate children, thus indirectly benefiting all of society, not to necessarily support a public school system (92). If education of children is the primary goal towards which public funds should flow then education reform should reflect this.
Federalism is a part of American history and a philosophy the forefathers intended to be used, according to the Amendment X of the constitution, when contemplating issues such as education reform. Federalism is the philosophy that decentralizes power, lessening the influence of the federal government and giving power to the individual states. With this in mind, any education reforms should be implemented on a state by state basis with each state adapting or modifying the reforms to reflect the needs of that particular state. However, a voucher system, that forced public funds to follow the children to the schools of their parents’ choosing, and creating a competitive environment that encouraged accountability and flexibility while at the same time providing an incentive for the creation of specialized schools that would meet the diverse needs of America’s children, would be a good basis for each state to begin their respective education reforms….