Competition Among Public Schools

August 25th, 2008 by Eric Cope

You may or may not be familiar with Arizona’s Open Enrollment Law. It states that children may attend any public school their parents prefer, inside or outside their district. It was Janet “The Commie” Napolitano’s idea of the free market in the school system (She hates the idea of vouchers.  I.E. public schools having to compete with (read lose to) private schools).  The East Valley Tribune has an article talking about how Tempe Union will begin busing kids from Maricopa to Tempe for school.  This addresses why there has been such a slow uptake of out-of-district educations. District managers have kept their buses in their district to stay off each others’ toes, eliminating any improvement the Open Enrollment Law could of had. However, the free market, no matter how handicapped by bureaucracy, still functions. The article has a significant amount of whining, but the real details can be extracted. From the article:

“When we’re invading another district’s boundary to get them, I think that’s not quite fair,” said longtime Tempe Union High School District board member Michelle Helms, who recently opposed her district’s plan to allow Tempe buses to pick up students in Maricopa. “I would not like someone to come into our boundaries and take our children.”

This statement is exactly why the free market works when governments stay out of the way. Michelle does not want people coming into her boundary to take “their” children, because then she does not have to work to maintain her populations. She can be lazy and poorly execute her job without the chance of losing it. I also like how she thinks its not fair for “her” students to be forced to attend a school in her district with an obvious perception of ineptness. How Terrible!

To be clear, I do not support The Commie’s plan. Vouchers are the best, fastest, cheapest way to obtaining world class education for our kids. How many people have heard of Lendingtree.com? When schools compete, our kids win!

On a side note, this demonstrates why cartels don’t work. Some member will always break the agreement to obtain an advantage in the market.

One Response to “Competition Among Public Schools”

  1. Mike says:

    I’m with your on that one! I can’t see any disadvantage. To be sure, our education system is broke, but much of our children’s poor academic performance starts at home. Most parents just let the system take care of their kids education, and don’t take an active roll. The free market school system would help much of this by forcing the parent(s) to pick a school for their children. No default public school to fall back on. I really feel most parents would do the research and try to pick the best school for their kids if they were forced to select one. I believe they would also be more active in education, even just to confirm they made the right school choice.

    Good one Eric!

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