Friday, November 06, 2009

Separation of School and State

"Suppose that newspapers were run by government and funded by taxpayers, and that each American was assigned to read only the newspaper published in his or her local area. Clearly, the resulting quality of journalism would be atrocious.

Would anyone seriously suggest that this problem would be solved if only there were better schools of journalism, or higher pay for journalists, or more people who are “called” to journalism, or newspaper readers who take more active roles in digesting and interpreting the news? Surely not. All sensible people would understand that these fixes would all fail as long as newspapers faced no competition – indeed, as long as journalism is produced by the state.
" - Don Boudreaux

The above was a letter to the New York Times editor, on the subject of education. It is also one of the finest points I have heard made in the neverending discussion of how to fix our education system.

But reading it gave me an idea: We need a Constitutional Amendment, along the lines of the 1st Amendment, which will separate the federal government from ANY involvement in our schools. I would suggest something worded as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting any establishment or form of education, or abridging the rights of the people to acquire education in any manner. Congress is also restricted from providing any funds for the purpose of education.

I can hear the squeals of protest already, but think about it: If the federal government cannot provide funding, they cannot put strings on it either.

Also, do we really need to funnel money for college educations through the federal government? Last time I checked, there are still many people in the U.S. without a college education. So exactly how do federal scholarship funding and college loans actually help ALL of us? There are plenty of private scholarship funds out there which could do the same job as the federal government. If people believe in providing scholarships for college educations, let them donate their money to the private scholarship funds, rather than have their money taken from them under the implied threat of government force which supports our income tax system?

In addition, without having to send education money to the federal government, there will be more money available in the private sector to enable the EXACT amount of education funding we need, rather than the amount our legislators THINK we need.

Finally, in K-12 education, let the states and local school boards decide how education should be done, rather than having to promote some federally mandated curriculum, which has done nothing to help the state of education in this country. (Although I think the states should only be involved in education funding, NOT in the actual business of education. But that is a separate discussion.)

We have tried everything in public education, and NONE of it works. It is time to remove the federal government from the education system completely.

1 comment:

William R. Barker said...

I vote "yea."