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Education "vouchers" solve the fiscal crisis, and also lead to economic recovery?

Simply open up K-12 education to the market place, with government only playing a role by financing the students with a yearly education check of $8000.

*www.usagovernmentspending.com shows American local governments spending $458.3 billion for K-12 education in 2012.
*(Sir Ken Robinson says this education system is a complete failure)
*The new education cost of $8000 education check to 50 million K-12 students is $400 billion per year
*This saves $58.3 billion
*(a $6000 check would save $158.3 billion)
*The yearly education check allows students(and their parents) to choose how, when, where, and what they learn, and also who teaches them
*The yearly education check of $8000 opens up a $400B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives
*($6000 check opens up a $300B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives)

State fiscal crisis solved, federal fiscal crisis solved, and the new education market leads America's economic recovery.

Thoughts everyone?

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  • Dec 29 2012: "*The new education cost of $8000 education check to 50 million K-12 students is $400 billion per year
    *This saves $58.3 billion"

    $58.3 billion is not nearly enough to bridge the deficit and it's less than the $90 billion the pointless war in Afghanistan costs (but guns before education, right?)

    "*(a $6000 check would save $158.3 billion)"

    $158.3 billion still is not enough to bridge the deficit.


    The deficit is expected to be $900 billion for 2013.

    "*The yearly education check of $8000 opens up a $400B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives
    *($6000 check opens up a $300B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives)"

    Yes, it will open up all that money for shareholders and overpaid executives (who will happily "invest" it in gold and real estate, adding exactly 0 value to the economy) but that money would have to come from somewhere: probably school personnel and construction workers, in other words middle class consumers, the people who create demand in the market. The $6000 check system would also burden parents with all kinds of additional "fees" because it's not enough to run a good school with. I've said it before: even the Catholic schools who get to enjoy the scale of a worldwide system, ideologically motivated personnel who accept low salaries and don't pay a single dime in shareholder dividend or executive bonus packages, still spend $7000 per year per student, so how the hell is a corporation going to improve on that (btw, how do you envision competition in rural areas where there's only demand for one school in a wide radius)? We've seen the for profit colleges haven't brought down costs, on the contrary. And why would they? People know how important the education of their children is, they're prepared to bleed for it, and it's not like the shareholders care if some parents can't afford the additional fees. No, wait, they'll just have "budget" schools for the poor, make poverty even more hereditary than it already is.
    • Dec 30 2012: John Smith,
      The market opens to everyone: Individuals, tutors, charities, churches, NGOs, private enterprises, state owned enterprises, foreign governments.

      How would you spend $8000 a year on food? The choice is yours: upscale restaurants, hole in the wall restaurants, farmer's markets, fast food, grocery stores, make your own food, grow your own food, buy from food trucks, eat pre-made and prepackaged meals from a weight loss service, hire a personal chef for a week, eat from charity soup kitchens, dumpster dive behind Pizza Hut... whatever suits your preferences. It would be the individual's choice to spend their education money on products and services offered by companies with overpaid executives.

      Opening up a $400B/yr education market will see educational "restaurants" of all kinds appear to offer services. It is redistributing education money away from the politicians and into the hands of the people. The choice is up to the people. If you had a yearly $8000 bag of cash for educating yourself, what would you do?
      • Dec 30 2012: "The market opens to everyone: Individuals, tutors, charities, churches, NGOs, private enterprises, state owned enterprises, foreign governments."

        So if there's a functioning NGO operating in your area then your kids are in luck, if it's a corporation they're screwed? The thing people like you don't understand is that services like health care and education aren't about obtaining the highest quality for some, they're about achieving the same quality for everyone, regardless of how rich their parents are. If you privatize education you get a tiered system, kinda like corporations buy up different brands so they can cater to different budget ranges.
        • Jan 2 2013: "If there's a functioning NGO soup kitchen in your area, you are in luck! If it's profiteering individuals opening delis, restaurants, grocery stores, and salad bars you are screwed!"
    • Dec 30 2012: "how do you envision competition in rural areas where there's only demand for one school in a wide radius"? Well, it's a buyers market.

      Most of the rural towns I have been through in the Midwest want nothing more than the government to simply get off their lawn, and stay off. Education "vouchers" break the chains of government rule, regulation, management and operation.

      So let's say this rural community has 20 K-12 students, $8000/student.
      And the parents pool their money together
      And the parents choose me to decide the education for their kids
      And the parents choose me to run a school
      So I have $160,000 of government money to spend on the education of 20 kids for an entire year -- plus anything the parents or community members decide to donate.

      I would put up advertisements across Mexico:
      "Paying $80,000 cash to the Mexican Mariachi band that teaches singing, dancing, music, songwriting to a small rural American town for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 40 weeks."

      Use the remaining $80,000 to buy instruments, decorations, and whatever other supplies. And for one year they are learning Spanish, music, song writing, dancing, and interacting with musicians from Mexico.

      So...
      How do you envision the education change for the children of an inner city single mother of 5 who now has $40,000 a year for buying education products and services --- where before she had $0 and a worthless inner city public school assigned by zip code?
      • Dec 30 2012: "So let's say a rural community has 20 K-12 students, $8000/student.
        And the parents pool their money together
        And the parents choose me to decide the education for their kids"

        How do they choose you? What if they are divided about your school-running qualities?

        "I would put up advertisements across Mexico:
        "Paying $80,000 cash to the Mexican Mariachi band that teaches singing, dancing, music, songwriting to a small rural American town for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 40 weeks." "

        Ah yes, rely on the pverty of other countries, good way to go, that's until someone replaces you for an Indian principal who will work for $8 an hour. Tell me, how are you going to get a good math teacher for $20.000? See the national average is now $9000 per student, any corporation can expect to lose at least 15% of revenue to profit, executive pay and marketing. So even at $8000 25% of costs would have to be cut (and the school would have to be more efficient than a catholic school), at $6000 43% of costs would have to be cut. What makes you so convinced this is realistic and won't result in a massively tiered system, do you have independent studies to cite? You can't buy a new car for $200, there are physical limitations to how much the free market can lower prices.

        "So...
        How do you envision the education change for an inner city single mother of 5 who now has $40,000 a year for buying education products and services for her children --- where before she had $0 and a worthless inner city public school assigned by zip code?"

        Is she magically going to get a helicopter to bring her kids to a better school 20 miles away? Other countries don't have a problem with bad inner city schools because they don't fund schools with local taxes.
        • Jan 2 2013: For math, here is another rural town example with me as education dictator and $160,000 from the people:

          Advertisements across former Soviet countries
          -"Paying up to $100,000 in cash to the group of 3 circus performers that teach circus tricks, maths, and Russian to a small rural American town for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 40 weeks."
          -"Free room + food + experience of living in an American rural town. OBO/Negotiable"
          Then I would use the other $60,000 to buy resources for all the students.
          One year of Russian, circus performing, physical fitness, health, exercise, and math.
          One year of Spanish, Mariachi bands, music, dance, song writing

          It's beyond me why you set up a straw man argument with a $20,000 math teacher. 20 kids learning math for one year from one teacher is $160,000 revenue going to that teacher. That is a fantastic revenue stream for anyone who can teach math.

          And I'm not sure why you protest global competition. I think global interaction, competition, and culture exchange are good things. I think moving away from jingoism is a good thing. Lower education costs are also a good thing. And I'm all about lifting people from developing countries out of poverty, and that is done by buying their goods and services.
        • Jan 2 2013: And what's with the arrogant helicopter comment?
          What's wrong with giving $40,000/yr and educational freedom to a poor single mother of 5 to educate her children? You feel she is so stupid, pathetic, and careless that a helicopter needs to be landed in her yard every morning, her children evacuated, and then flown into a private school? Unconscious elitism at it's finest.

          Parents simply post on the internet "Have $40,000/yr cash for educating my five children, show me your best offer." It's a buyers market.
          -$40,000/yr is 2000 hours of group tutor at $20/hr for her 5 children.

          The current system is spending $45,000/yr on her children in a worthless public school.
          The politicians failed and are cheating her children out of an education.
          Give mothers the money and choice.

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