Idea: Deregulate the school industry

weiss (weiss@flash.net)
Fri, 30 Aug 1996 19:48:36 -0700

Hi Everyone. I haven't written to the list much because I have never read
any books on alternative schools, and I thought people on the list might be
too far over my head.

However, since discussion has dropped off so much, I thought I would throw
in a possible topic of discussion.

"What do you think about deregulating the school industry?"
(Don't just reply to me, but feel free to communicate in all directions)

I hope you will excuse my use of business terminology, but I have an MBA, so
it's more comfortable for me. The reason I say 'deregulate' is to mean more
than just allow schools to open and compete using existing governmentally
approved models. I think that because education is so important to the
future, improvement through innovation must be one of the first priorities.
That has never happened, is not happening, and will never happen under the
control of a single entity, whether that entity is religious, governmental,
or whatever. There must, in my opinion, be freedom for new methods to be
presented for people to chose, if they want.

As a practical matter, I have an idea about how this might be implemented.
But, before I put out my idea, I caution that I haven't considered it for
long or discussed it with many people, so improve it if you can! My idea is
to take the average amount per student in the governmental budgets (that
would include federal, state, and local) and distribute it as a voucher to
each child's parent(s). The parents could then give the voucher for each
month, semester, year, or whatever to the school they choose for their
child(ren) to attend. If the school were private, it could redeem the
voucher for cash from the governmental entity in charge of disbursements.
If the school were a public one, it would do the same.

The reason I think this could work well is that I read a study recently done
in the northeast (I think Pennsylvania or New Jersey) that showed private
schools in that area averaging about $3000 per student per year and showed
public schools in that area averaging about $6000 per student per year. Has
anyone read or heard about any other similar studies, whatever its results?

--Aaron

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