We as a nation must decide what the purpose is for our educational system: educating our children (What a concept!), or protecting below-average teachers. Tragically we all know that for decades we have chosen the latter. But it should be a fundamental liberty for parents to have the choice of where and how the government money will be spent to educate their children. If they were to be so empowered, they would demand excellence and, if the results seen in 51 school choice programs around the country are to be believed, they would receive it! How does that happen? Ask yourself, how is it that today we have high quality computers, cell phones and automobiles on the market for a reasonable price? The answer is, of course, that we have competition in those industries. Education is no different.
So parents should be empowered to choose the best schools to meet the needs of their children, whether the schools be public, private, military, religious or vocational, as long as fundamental educational standards are met for teaching “reading, writing and rithmetic,” etc. But, you ask, wouldn’t that violate the doctrine of the Separation of Church and State? Actually no. This would be no different than Veterans choosing where their GI Bill benefits are to be spent, whether their colleges be UCLA, Notre Dame, Temple University or Holy Cross. Why, because it is the Veteran who is choosing, not the government. School Choice for K – 12 is no different. Today more than 337,000 students are utilizing school choice programs in 24 states and Washington D.C. to access education that works for them. In addition, there are almost an additional million families who are using individual tax credits and deductions for educational expenses that are achieving the same results. So, once again, Liberty works, both from a philosophical standpoint as well as a practical one!
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice
President, along with Governor
Gary Johnson as the candidate for President
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