"Ain't Gonna Study War No More"

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Right-To-Life Party, Christian, Anti-War, Pro-Life, Bible Fundamentalist, Egalitarian, Libertarian Left

Monday, November 28, 2005

No More 'One-Size-Fits-All' Schooling

Free Market Schools Offer Benefits To Parents, Kids

Last week, Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State addressed a Yuma audience on the advantages of free market schooling, and there are many.

In a truly free market, schools can be operated by private individuals, teacher co-ops, for-profit corporations, churches, temples or synagogues. The schools could be completely secular, mildly religious or highly religious. The essence of the free market is not necessarily the presence of a profit motive, but rather the absence of government force and compulsion.

Just like in choosing which food store, car dealer or office supply store to shop at, parents choose the form, degree and content of schooling they believe best for their children. Children are not conceived by the state nor are they mere creatures of the state. Therefore, children ought not to be fed, churched, clothed, entertained or educated by the state.

Free market education reduces the amount of violence in schools because parents could remove their children rather easily to a competitor's school. Since schools would advertise the type of education they offer, parents can decide which school to send their children based on which benefits schools offer that adhere to the parents' beliefs. Again, the parents can change schools very easily if they discover those beliefs are being undermined by the school.

With free market schooling, all parents are in the position of taking the responsibility of choosing the type of education they desire for their child just like they take the responsibility to make choices about cars, computers, health care, and careers. No one says, ?I'm not a car or career expert, so I need the government to choose for me.?

Parents get directly involved in education when they directly pay for it, the same way they get involved when they pay for cars, health care or anything else. There is no utopian escape from bad parenting, but free market schooling at least encourages increased parent involvement in their child's education.

If government owned and operated food and office supply stores, the cost of items purchased at such stores would be much higher. Likewise, the cost of schooling would be reduced in free market schools and those students who still could not afford to attend the school of their choice would be assisted by private charities and/or scholarship programs.

Since a free market education allows for diversity of ideas and beliefs to be taught, any conflicts are handled within the family. Compulsion schooling, unlike free market schooling, creates conflicts and forces a ?one-size-fits-all? program on the diverse population of society since programs are instituted by majority vote.

Again, if parents see a conflict, they can send their child to another school. One does not hear of conflicts between vegetarians and meat lovers because individuals do not vote on what others can eat. There is no such thing as meat districts and vegetarian districts. With free market schooling there would be no school districts either.

Individualism is offered in a free market education system in response to the diversity found in society, resulting in children learning at their own pace and style. Today's square peg children find square holes in which to learn. Free market education for those unruly and unfit for classroom instruction will develop other programs in which they can learn also.

Free market schooling is good for educators in that teachers and principals can start their own schools and hire assistants, utilizing existing school buildings they purchase or rent. Schools would be more numerous and smaller. Parents become the customers, not the elected and unelected officials.

The transition to a free market education system may very well take several generations, as parents gradually withdraw their children from government schooling. Parents want what is best for their children. When enough parents realize that the benefits outweigh the costs ? when they are free to make their own choices in life ? a free market in education will exist.


Thursday at 7 p.m. at The Freedom Library, a DVD will be shown highlighting leading financial experts explaining why gold is money and the impact of the Federal Reserve on human activity. It will be followed by a discussion on how the Constitution protects human activity from government interference in individual financial affairs.

Howard J. Blitz is a local libertarian and
president of The Freedom Library Inc.,
2435 S. 8th Ave. His e-mail address is



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