There’s a phrase that’s often used as a conversation-stopper in public policy debates. Those who use this phrase seemingly seek to intimidate their opponents into defending evil against good. It seems to be used when all rational arguments fail. The phrase? “Anything for the children.”
When Congress or the state legislature decides to take money from you through taxes, they are presuming that they know better how to spend that money than you do, or that what they want to spend your money on is more important than what you would spend it on.
Monday, January 29, has been declared Milton Friedman Day to celebrate the life of perhaps the leading proponent of free market economics in the world. Friedman, who died in November, received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976 at age 64, but continued at full pace until his death 30 years later espousing his belief that free markets are essential for economic and political freedom throughout the world.
State Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds’ plan to restructure public schools includes taxpayer-funded pre-Kindergarten, improving the quantity and quality of teachers and administrators, and increasing the rigor of the curriculum.
A new organization is being created to inform people of Mississippi whether their legislators are voting to quote “fully fund education.” In announcing this group, its founders implied that the only measure of whether a legislator supports education is if they vote to fund the current system of public schools, regardless of how the money is actually spent. They seem to be for more spending, even if it doesn’t produce better results.
Public school spending in Mississippi increased by more than a billion dollars from 1996 to 2005. But test scores just released by the U.S. Department of Education show that science scores over that same period of time have not changed at all in Mississippi.
Competition is the essential element in improving the price and quality of goods and services. It’s a curious thing to me how many business leaders believe this principle until the topic turns to education. For some reason, they treat education as if it were immune to the benefits of competition. They defend the current system rather than embracing an approach that would allow parents to choose schools that best meet their children’s needs.
In the past 15 years, the number of charter schools in the United States has grown from fewer than ten to more than 3,600, and the number of students attending these schools has gone from hundreds to more than a million.
As the Coast rebuilds, there is an excellent opportunity for new schools to be created with special emphases.
Have you ever heard of a public school being built at no cost to the taxpayers? That�s exactly what happened in our nation�s capital, in a deal that may have some merit in Mississippi school districts affected by Hurricane Katrina.