January 26, 2011

Let our children go!

By Let our children go!

Author: Timothy Sandefur

Perfectly timed for School Choice Week comes this story from Ohio about a mother who has been sentenced to jail for trying to get her children into a better school:


It’s shameful beyond words that in the United States of America, parents have so little control over where their children can attend school. The government monopoly on education allows the government-run school system to operate without regard to performance or the needs of children. If Shell charges me too much for gasoline, or if Barnes and Noble doesn’t carry the books I want, or if Honda’s cars don’t perform up to the standard that I desire, I can spend my money elsewhere—thereby creating an incentive for these companies to better satisfy the needs of their customers. But if government-run schools perform poorly—which they consistently do—they still get paid. And if you try to shop elsewhere, you can be criminally prosecuted!

This is why school choice is such a crucial issue. Parents should have the right to choose where their children go, thereby creating an incentive for schools to perform better. As it is, we have a system where bureaucrats, not parents, make the choices. Whatever else you call that, you can’t call it justice.

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