Private schools are rewarded when they succeed. Government schools are rewarded even when they fail.
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.
St. Adalbert School scores a “zero” in categories parents care most about. Zero gangs. Zero drugs. Zero pregnancies. Zero violence. Zero guards. Zero metal detectors.
What’s its secret? It’s not the location. St. Adalbert School is situated in the heart of inner-city Cleveland.
It’s not sky-high tuition fees. Tuition at St. Adalbert is only $975 per year. That covers about half the total cost per student. By comparison, the average cost per student in public school is $6,857.
Yet St. Adalbert School outscores government-run schools in almost every category, including crucial areas like school violence where “zero” is the best possible score.
What’s the secret? It’s simple. St. Adalbert School is not run by the government. So it either produces a good product (educated students) or its customers (parents) go somewhere else.
Compare this to government schools. The worse they do, the more money politicians pour into the system. For example, American high school SAT scores fell by an average of 50 points between 1970 and 1995. During the same time, the federal education budget nearly doubled from $19 billion to $35 billion.
In other words, private schools are rewarded when they succeed. Government schools are rewarded even when they fail.
Libertarians don’t think we’re getting our money’s worth from the government-run school system. We believe that a dollar-for-dollar tax credit should go to any individual who pays for a child’s education. We also believe that the federal government needs to get out of education. The decision-making and money matters should be returned to the states, communities, and parents.
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