Privatizing Education

From: Domingos Santos Jr.

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2020 5:49 PM


Subject: Privatizing Public School Administrative Services

Professor Block–

My name is Domingos Santos.  I am a lawyer and a director at a private equity firm in Arizona.  I am considering a run for the local school board in my town in 2022 and toward that end I am reviewing research and commentary in many areas of primary and secondary education.  I am writing to ask if you have any recommendations on resources discussing the privatization of public education administrative services or, more broadly, government administrative services.

In Arizona, the move toward privatization of education is well on its way as privately run education institutions (i.e., private schools, homeschooling, and public charter schools) educate almost 40% of students in the state.  In the public school realm, the administration payroll expenses are substantial.  In my district, for example, $7.123MM of payroll and benefit costs ($81,920/full time equivalent) go to general administration, school administration and central services.  This number is inflated vs. a private sector equivalent due to a 13% of salary contribution to the state retirement system for each employee and a 100% school district paid medical insurance benefit.  So, from the perspective of low-hanging fruit for freeing up dollars for education, it seems that the administrative side of the school district is ripe for privatization.

I appreciate any resources you can direct me to.  Thank you very much,


Dear Domingos:

I hope some of this helps. Do keep me posted as to how you’re doing.

Barnett and Block, 2008; Block, 1991A, 1991B, 1991C, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014; Block and Cwik, 2007; Block and Dauterive, 2007; Goolsby and Block. 2003-2004; Horton and Block, 2001-2002; McGee and Block, 1991; North and Block, 2011; Reel and Block, 2012, 2013; Rome and Block. 2006; Whitehead, and Block. 1999, 2000; Young and Block. 1999;

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Economic categorization.” Laissez-Faire, Issue 28-29, March-September, pp. 4-12;

Block, Walter E. 1991A. Dollars and Sense: “School Vouchers,” January 18; Nelson Daily News;

Block, Walter E. 1991B. “School Vouchers,” Fraser Forum, February, pp. 30-31.

Block, Walter E. 1991C. “School’s Out for Educational Socialism,” British Columbia Report, v. 2, n. 26, February 25, p. 4.

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Educational Socialism,” Fraser Forum, April, pp. 30-31.

Block, Walter E. 2007. “My Case of and for Coauthoring,” Dialogue, pp. 93-116;

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; (debate with Gary North)

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Is there a Ph.D. glut in economics in academia?” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 9-26;; reprint in Economics, Management, and Financial Markets , forthcoming, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 1;; Password: AddletonAP2009.

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Is econ 101 killing America? A critique of Atkinson and Lind, and Boettke.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 10-22. doi:10.12709/mest.;

Block, Walter E. and Paul Cwik. 2007. “Teaching Business Ethics: A Classificationist Approach,” Business Ethics: A European Review.  Vol. 16, No. 2 April, pp. 98-107;

Block, Walter E. and Jerry Dauterive. 2007. “Political Correctness and the Economics of Higher Education.” Humanomics. Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 230-239;;jsessionid=A4474341C26657A036E9A278B2379E63?contentType=Article&contentId=1637489

Goolsby, Jerry R. and Walter E. Block. 2003-2004. “Education and Bureaucracy: National Testing and School Privatization,” Texas Education Review;;

Horton, Marshall and Walter E. Block. 2001-2002. “Was Marx an Adjunct?  An Analysis of the Proposition That Part-time Faculty Are Economically Exploited,” Texas Education Review, Vol. 1, No. IV, Winter, pp. 43-46;

McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. 1991. “Academic Tenure: A Law and Economics Analysis,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 14, No. 2, Spring, pp. 545-563;; reprinted as McGee, Robert W. and Walter E. Block. “Academic Tenure: An Economic Critique,” in DeGeorge, Richard T., ed., 1997. Academic Freedom And Tenure: Ethical Issues, Rowman & Littlefield, 1997

North, Gary and Walter E. Block. July 24-30, 2011 Auburn, AL, Mises University; Debate on higher education;;;;;

Reel, Jordan and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Public Education: Who is it for?” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies; Vol. 7, No. 4, October, pp. 66-72;;

Reel, Jordan and Walter E. Block. 2013. “Educational Vouchers: Freedom to Choose?” Contemporary Economics. pp. 111-122, December, DOI:10.5709/ce.1897-9254.126

Rome, Gregory and Walter E. Block. 2006. “Schoolhouse Socialism.” Journal of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 83-88;;col1; reprinted as “Voucher Programs Lead to Government Interference in Private Schools,” in Young, Mitchell, ed. 2012. For-Profit Education, Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, pp. 169-176

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 1999. “Mandatory Student Fees: Forcing Some to Pay for the Free Speech of Others,” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 759-781;

Whitehead, Roy and Walter E. Block. 2000. “Direct Payment of State Scholarship Funds to Church-Related Colleges Offends the Constitution and Title VI,” Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 191-207;;;

Young, Andrew and Walter E. Block. 1999. “Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System,” International Journal of Value Based Management, Vol.12, No. 3, pp. 195-207;

Butts, 1973; Chappell, 1978; Flew, 1976; Friedman, 1962; Illich, 1970; Liggio and Peden, 1978; Lott, 1987, 1990A, 1990B, 1999; Postiglione, 1982; Richman, 1994; Rickenbacker, 1974; Rothbard, 1972; Sowell, 1993; Spring, 1972; West 1964, 1965, 1967, 1978.

The war on kids:

Butts, R. Freeman. 1973. “The Public Schools: An Assault on a Great Idea.” The Nation. April 30.

Morse, Samuel F. B. 1844. “Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States.” In David Brion Davis, ed., The Fear of Conspiracy, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1971

Chappell, Robert H. 1978. “Anarchy Revisited: an inquiry into the public education dilemma,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter, pp. 357-372

Flew, Antony. 1976. Sociology, Equality and Education, London: Macmillan

Friedman, Milton. 1962. “The Role of Government in Education,” Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press, pp. 85-107

(1962, 191): “It can be argued that private charity is insufficient because the benefits from it accrue to people other than those who make the gifts – again, a neighborhood effect. I am distressed by the sight of poverty; I am benefited by its alleviation; but I am benefited equally whether I or someone else pays for its alleviation; the benefits of other people’s charity therefore party accrue to me. To put it differently, we might all of us be willing to contribute to the relief of poverty, provided everyone else did. We might not be willing to contribute the same amount without such assurance… Suppose one accepts, as I do, this line of reasoning as justifying governmental action to alleviate poverty…”

Illich, Ivan. 1970. Deschooling Society. London, U.K.: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd

Liggio, Leonard P. and Joseph R. Peden. 1978. “Social Scientists, Schooling, and the Acculturation of Immigrants in 19th Century America.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Vol. 2 No. 1, Winter, pp. 69-84

Lott, John. 1987. “Why is Education Publicly Provided? A Critical Survey,” Cato Journal, Vol. 7, Fall, pp. 475-501

Lott, John. 1990A. “An Explanation for the Public Provision of Schooling: The Importance of Indoctrination.” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 33, pp. 199-231

Lott, John. 1990B. “Why is Education Publicly Provided? Some Further Thoughts,” Cato Journal, Spring/Summer, pp. 293-241

Lott, John. 1999. “Public Schooling, Indoctrination, and Totalitarianism,” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 107, Number 6, Part 2, pp. S127-S157, December;

Postiglione, Gerard. 1982. “The Opponents of Public Education: New York State, 1870-1880,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. VI, No. 3-4, Summer/Fall, pp. 359-376

Richman, Sheldon. 1994. Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families, Fairfax, Va.: The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Rickenbacker, William, ed. 1974. The Twelve Year Sentence: Radical Views of Compulsory Education. LaSalle, IL:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1971A. “Education: Free and Compulsory” (Part I).  Individualist, April, pp. 2 8.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1971B. “Education: Free and Compulsory” (Part II).  Individualist, July August, 1971, pp. 3 16.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1972. Education, Free and Compulsory: The Individual’s Education.  Wichita, KS: Center for Independent Education. Education;

Sowell, Thomas. 1993. Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, The Dogmas, New York: The Free Press

Spring, Joel H. 1972. Education and the Rise of the Corporate State. Boston:

West, Edwin G. 1964. “The Public Versus the Private Sector in Education: A Classical Economic Dispute.” Journal of Political Economy. October, pp. 465-475.

West, E. G. (1964). “Private versus Public Education A Classical Economic Dispute.” Journal of Political Economy, 72 (5), 465-475;

West, Edwin G. 1965. Education and the State: A Study in Political Economy. London: Institute for Economic Affairs

West, Edwin G. 1967. “The Political Economy of Public School Legislation.” Journal of Law and Economics. Vol. X. October.

West, Edwin G. 1978. “American Public Schools on Trial.” New Society. January.

Best regards,



2:48 am on April 20, 2021

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