Reform the K-12 Government- School Monopoly: Economics and Facts

Source: American Institute for Economic Research.

“This study found that currently (as of 2018), a public school education in the US costs 89% more than private education; that is, $14,653 for a public school and $7,736 for a private education.”

Imagine that. If you assume that education is a “public good” (I don’t), our insistence on having public schools forces us to obtain substantially less of it than we might. We could educate almost twice as many children for the money we are spending now — all else being equal, etc.

10 thoughts on “Reform the K-12 Government- School Monopoly: Economics and Facts

  1. ” If you assume that education is a “public good” (I don’t),”…

    Well many more people do. It seems to me that ANY education is a “public good”. Unless you want a bunch of idiots running around that will listen to any theory that comes down the pike because they haven’t been taught to think for themselves.

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      1. Looking at it from a purely economical viewpoint is what you appear to be doing. But there is more to public education than just the economics of it. Civics and liberal arts education, which I believe the entire country could be much better at, leads to a more informed, well-rounded society.

        That is one of the issues I have with Libertarian thought: It’s all about the Benjamin and does not take into account humanity. – IMO

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      2. RE: “Looking at it from a purely economical viewpoint is what you appear to be doing.”

        Not at all. If a government-funded education costs 89% more than a privately-funded education, questions about quality become inevitable.

        RE: “Civics and liberal arts education, which I believe the entire country could be much better at, leads to a more informed, well-rounded society.”

        A proper civics education would necessarily cover public goods theory. A proper liberal arts education would necessarily cover economics.

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  2. My conclusion is that K-12 is designed to be inefficient AND to be very expensive. If the money flows, lots of people will get rich.

    Here’s one way it’s done.. .You teach reading in the least efficient way, You make children memorize sight-words. Children in the second and third grades have hardly learned to read at all. So the same children must be taught over and over through elementary school and into middle school. And then you have the therapists, the assessment experts, the tutors, the psychiatrists to prescribe expensive drugs, and so on. Everything is done over and over at great cost, and finally children can hardly read at all.

    More verbal kids will figure it out–they will see the phonics in the sight-words. The less verbal kids will never figure it out. They might learn as many as 200 or 400 sight-words. They can read with great difficulty, But in their whole life they will never read an entire book. They are an example of illiteracy by design.

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    1. RE: “My conclusion is that K-12 is designed to be inefficient AND to be very expensive.”

      I agree. That such a design is intentional is well documented in history, theory and practice, but too many remain unwilling or unable to credit it.

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  3. Just another thing the free market does better than government.

    Virginia’s constitution guarantees a free primary and secondary education but it does not require it to be from public schools. Let the money follow the child. and competition will make education better.

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