News for Freedom-Lovers
have played Bre’r Rabbit on vouchers. The Supreme Fox at
the request of conservatives and libertarians has just thrown
the liberals into the briar patch they love: More-Big-Government
and Less-Self-Reliance. Indeed, vouchers will harm education
in four ways:
come with strings attached. These soon become chains. Since
government will write the tuition check, even if the parents
deliver it, government will become the dominant customer for
private education. (Voucher advocates make big noises about
eternal vigilance, but these silent watchdogs have shown their
true colors by failing to complain about the admissions lottery
in the Cleveland voucher model.)
entice into dependency today’s self-reliant families who are
paying for private schooling. These new recipients of OPM (Other
People’s money) will be weakened as are all welfare recipients.
blindfold or hamstring the private school admissions office,
resulting in the number of troublemakers gradually increasing
to unmanageable proportions.
prevent cost breakthroughs. Who’s going to invent a high quality
$2000/year school if the voucher is 4-, 6-, or 8-thousand dollars?
In fact, vouchers will raise costs of schooling just as has
government involvement in health care and colleges.
four factors will gradually change the culture of private schools
to be public school look-alikes, albeit run by private operators.
Do any of us think Mussolini improved socialism by allowing private
tell teenagers to think ahead, indeed, to learn from other’s mistakes.
Let’s follow our own advice by learning from government involvement
in health care.
conservatives and libertarians are not happy with the huge government
involvement in health care. But 60 years ago, how many conservatives
fought against making medical insurance tax-favored (i.e., deductible
to the employer, not reportable as income by the employee)? Not
enough, that’s for sure. But from that little nose under the tent,
the government camel has driven prudence and self-reliance downward
and costs and demands for welfare upward. Witness grandparents wanting
to grab their grandchildren’s wages to pay for their "right
to free or cheap pharmaceuticals."
school vouchers are the same type of Subtle-But-Big-Mistake.
admit I was snookered, too, until Prof.
Dwight Lee unmasked the liberal Bre’r Rabbit ploy in the July, 1986,
Ideas on Liberty (then called The Freeman), p
247: "If the move to purely private schools begins to accelerate,
the public school lobby can, and surely will, protect its privileged
position by embracing educational vouchers." Lee went on to
predict that "if the voucher approach to education ever becomes
a serious political possibility, it will be as a means of reducing
competition in education, not increasing it."
blunt-speak, the Left is going to implement the voucher, not the
Right. Lee's insight was confirmed
by Marshall Smith, then dean of the Stanford Graduate School
of Education, later Undersecretary of Education for Clinton. He
wrote in educationese the game plan for the Left in
the Politics of Education Association Yearbook in 1990, p
25: "The state curriculum frameworks would establish a protective
structure that would help ensure that all schools were attempting
to provide a challenging and progressive curriculum. The teacher
training reforms and the stimulations of curriculum materials by
the state would help make high quality resources available to all
the schools. Perhaps of most importance, the state examinations
based on the curriculum frameworks would provide valid data about
student outcomes to help parents and students make their choice
what happens next? Unless they come to their senses and start fighting
vouchers, conservatives and libertarians will help liberals increase
the number of families on the edu-dole and the number of schools
under the thumb of the state.
a few schools catering to the rich or the stubborn will continue
without government aid. Most private and religious schools will
take the voucher because if they don’t they’ll lose their customers
to the new school down the street. Look at colleges: The GI Bill,
Pell grants, and government-backed loans have made sure there is
no difference between Notre Dame and Michigan State. They both serve
their paying customer, government.
think tax-credits are better than vouchers, but ultimately they
are only camouflaged vouchers. Charter schools are just public schools
on a longer leash. A dog on a long leash is still a dog on a leash.
must see that there's no way to get good education based on coercion.
Let's stop helping liberals
expand government. Instead, declare yourself in favor of separating
school and state.
him mail] is the President of the Alliance
for the Separation of School & State, based in Fresno, Calif.
The Alliance has a goal of 1,000,000 signatories on their "Proclamation
for the Separation of School and State." As of July 2002, they
have reached 21,000, and include people ranging from Ed Crane to
Tim LaHaye, Thomaz Szasz to Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and Penn & Teller
to Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza. Oh… and Lew Rockwell!
© 2002 by LewRockwell.com