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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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  • Jan 5 2013: This argument is built around a faulty premise. Your post says "The yearly education check allows students to chose how, when, where, and what they learn, and also who teaches them." - I see this as being awfully powerful for a piece of paper with numbers written on it. - Defend this premise.

    Next, how does cutting 400 billion in money already being spent on education drive a new economic recovery? It just means that once again schools will be asked to do more with less.

    Some additional misconceptions about vouchers (Internet sources)

    The basic education cuts that would accompany a voucher program would increase the financial burden on local communities in the form of increased property taxes.

    Vouchers do not offer true school choice.
    Access is a key issue in education. All kids deserve an opportunity to learn, but within a voucher program schools would choose the students, not the other way around. Private schools could choose to reject students with special needs, or for any other reason.

    Low income families will still be left with limited choices in situations where vouchers do not cover the full cost of tuition.

    And finally in many states, vouchers are unconstitutional, so the question is currently moot on a federal level.
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      Jan 5 2013: Let's take that premise one step back. Under contract law. it's tit for tat. In this situation, the state (school board, DoE, et el) takes taxes (OPM)... the tit! It gives these funds to public school districts who will use these funds to create educated mature adults. The state is hoping for educated adults to earn good salaries and pay higher taxes (more OPM)... the tat! The tax payers are telling the state et. el. that they aren't seeing the educated adults coming out of the arrangement. The school districts (who have no contract with the tax payer) tells the state " if you give us more funds we can provide better out come" The state says " OK, but your output has to pass a test as quality control " The school district agrees and teaches the tests. The states has documentation that the output has improved. The tax payer looking around, find themselves surrounded by functional illiterates, tell the states "you got to do better maybe with vouchers or, or...! The states whine "that's too hard to do". The school districts tell the states "give us more money and we can do better". The states say "OK". The taxpayers say "What the ....!"
      • Jan 5 2013: tu quoque
        You avoided having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser - you answered criticism with criticism.
        Pronounced too-kwo-kwee. Literally translating as 'you too' this fallacy is also known as the appeal to hypocrisy. It is commonly employed as an effective red herring because it takes the heat off someone having to defend their argument, and instead shifts the focus back on to the person making the criticism.
        Also please cite where states have said vouchers are too hard. Some states do have them. Educational quality seems to be unaffected by them. Also, many states are constitutional forbidden to have a voucher program while others refuse because of the threat they see to low income children.
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          Jan 5 2013: OK, you got me. I was being cynical, sarcastic, whatever. Sorry. In my weakest defense, I had posted way down the list my problem with vouchers, school taxes, etc. is that it can't be demonstrated that with the money exchanged (taxes) is equal to the value received (functional, educated young adults). The USA spends more on each public school child then most other countries and are ranked 25th to 30th in quality according to the UN. Vouchers may help children who are seriously hindered by poor schools. Vouchers to everyone? That issue has been beaten to death by almost everyone on this site.

          "Too hard to do" is not a policy statement. It is an expression by bureaucrats given to elected officials when requested to accomplish the impossible/most undesirable.
          Governor: "Let's get a law to provide school vouchers"
          Bureaucrat: "Governor, you push that and the teacher's union will make sure you won't be reelected dog catcher. It's too hard to do."
        • Jan 8 2013: Scott,
          Every politician knows that vouchers would reduce the amount of money and power they wield. So they spin to protect their own salaries that are skimmed off the education budget that should be going to students and teachers.

          20+ years of research and study on school vouchers have shown the following:
          Compared to public school peers, students on vouchers,
          *Had test performances either equal or better
          *Had reduced drop out rates
          *Had more satisfied parents
          *Attend less racially segregated schools
          *Cost less
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        Jan 7 2013: Most of the educated workers are shipped in from other countries, leaving no need to educate our children.

        We have to do something like, decrease immigration until our people are working. By creating a need for more educated people, the economy will see the need to increase funding to the education systems, given that they can't get these workers anywhere else. As long as we can simply import educated workers, They don't need to even consider the problem --and they don't.

        Of course, automation will make this whole conversation mute as more workers are replaced by machines and computers.

        Example: The other day in my doctors office, I saw the PA. She asked me some question, took some blood and checked off each item on a computer program. At the end of the diagnostic session, the computer told her what meds to give me and in what amounts, along with some simple advice to give me (the patient). If I had that program at home, I wouldn't need to doctor ( for most basic health needs.)

        This is the world we are creating and it is coming fast. Education has to catch up somehow, but, at the same time, technology is reducing the need for educated people. It appears the only future need will be for engineers and scientist, with all other being replaced by machines. I'm pretty sure the economic industry is fully aware of this future development and their only goal will be to reduce their taxes and decrease our benefits, including education, which is becoming increasingly meaningless for someone who is not an engineer or scientist.

        If you have walmart, why do you need any other retail competition? The retail world is being replaced by centralized retail outlets and, so automation is replacing the need of a generally educated population.

        One visit to McDonald's generates the question -- with our technology, why do our kids even need to know how to add and subtract when the cash register tells they how much change to give back?
    • Jan 8 2013: Scott
      Jody wrote similar words earlier describing similar vouchers. I now realize that voucher has specific meaning and is not accurate to describe my idea. From the conditions of vouchers you describe, you are right in calling the premise faulty. I would find them unconstitutional too.

      My idea is to have the government redistribute the education money into the hands of the K-12 students. The government and politicians apologize for failing at education, then simply start giving every K-12 student $8000 in cash for education every year. Education gift cards; Education welfare; Education stamps?

      The already operating public schools would have a huge advantage in keeping students; students who want to continue going to their public school decide to give them the $8000, $7000, $6000 or whatever the public school charges. Anyone else who wants to offer an education service can -- teachers, tutors, charities, churches, businesses, foreign governments.

      The America education system is the same East German philosophy when government was running food cafeterias for the entire country: American government is feeding every student the same education. When the wall fell, people were free to set up their own food services and the people were free to choose where, when, how, and what to eat. And the same for education services: Let the American people have educational liberty:
      -Students spend 13 years of their life captive to a government rules and regulation
      -Students and parents have relatively little or no educational liberty
      -Testing culture often derails the pursuit of interests that make students happy.

      Do you find anything unconstitutional about public education?

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