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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 10 2013: I believe when government creates great things happen.
    But when government manages, stagnation happens. Phones, power grid, space program, highway system, and more are examples of this.

    And with that in mind I propose that the brick and mortar school system be turned over to the civilian sector (via vouchers) AND the government with the private/civilian sector creates a national online education system.

    Let’s say we have 1 teacher per 30 students, currently that means 30-students per 1-teacher class.
    Now let’s envision student spending 50% of the education time online and 50% in class, and we maintain the same number of teachers. This would result in 15-students per 1-teacher class.

    The only losers in such a change would be the teacher unions’ management, and not the teacher, students, nor America as a whole.

    This would emplace a check and balance system in to education.
    A balance that we currently don’t have, nor would we have under a voucher only system.
    • Jan 10 2013: Or, we could just properly fund public schools, and public schools could also do classes online. (if that was even a good idea)

      As for teacher's unions...Teachers can also unionize the private schools, and I can guarantee you they would. So much for the savings you guys envision at the expense of decent wages for teachers..
      • Jan 11 2013: Brock, your thought about properly funding is a great question.

        I think the proper way to fund public education is to have the money come from bottom up directly through parents and students calling the shots.. (vouchers)

        I think the improper way to fund public education is to have the money come from top down through layers of politicians and bureaucracy calling the shots with the same politicians and bureaucrats skimming money off the education budget for their salary, and continuing a centrally planned education that is failing! (current system)

        Vouchers put the education money in the hands of middle class parents and students so they can choose which education service is right for them (public, private, home school, tutors).

        The problem with the current system of public education is the the difference two things:
        A. government financing of public education
        B. government operation and management of public education.

        With an $8000 voucher, students can choose to give that $8000 to the public school that is already operating. The infrastructure costs for public schools have already been paid for, so they have a huge advantage in winning voucher money from students.

        I have to repeat because I think many people are missing this: students can choose to give the $8000 to the public school they already go to. The amount of voucher money can be set to the exact same per student cost of the public school.
        • Jan 11 2013: "bureaucrats skimming money off the education budget for their salary, "

          another word for bureaucrat is manager or administrator (necessary, no matter who runs a school or business)...company profits are already a primary means of skimming money off the top, and the private school will also have a manager.

          2 points against private, only 1 against public.

          Administration fees are necessary no matter who runs the school.

          We need to keep school centralized because it reduces the impact of fixed costs.

          Vouchers cost more money in the long run, do not produce better results with completely open admissions, and that was the ultimate point of this thread.
      • Jan 11 2013: Brock,
        Vouchers costing more that current public schooling is patently false. I have posted the empirical research of voucher studies for 20 years and they show vouchers reduce education costs up to half, reduce drop out rates, have equal or better test scoring, and have improved parent and student schooling satisfaction. Read the response to Andrew Wiggins.

        Bureaucrats are not school managers or administrators. That is patently false again. Bureaucrats and politicians are bureaucrats and politicians. These are politicians at the federal, state, county, and local levels that all sap education budget that should be going to teachers and students. The department of education has a staff 5,000 employees in Washington DC setting educational policy for the entire country and their directions come from politicians.

        You have been twisting my words, spinning my context, replying to comments designated for me with patently false information, and lying about math not adding up. Either you are wholly ignorant of the public education system, or you have an agenda. Which is it?
        • Jan 11 2013: The word bureaucrat is a politically loaded word that you chose on purpose, and I reminded other readers what it actually is.

          Private industry has overhead too, and you know it. Are you suggesting that private schools operate without direction and reason? Of course you are not! That direction comes from some where. Perhaps from the private school's bureaucracy?

          Sure, the Dept. of Education has 5000 employees, but can you tell me who they are? (as in, what is their expertise?) Would it surprise you that some are Math educators, Science educators, etc... All working to ensure that our education system prepares young minds to enter into the 21st century economy. Naturally, they answer to politicians, as they should - the ones we elected.

          Private school costs less only because they are not required to accept everybody, to include special needs children. They also don't have the same standards for staffing. That is a fact and you and I both know it.

          It's easy to achieve results with less, if you are only accepting proven achievers, or children who have parents that are active in there child's education. You are comparing apples to oranges, and even your studies acknowledge that fact.

          Vouchers are about promoting religion with taxpayer money, nothing more.
    • Jan 11 2013: Don, that is a great idea.

      And one of the interesting things is that a voucher system allows for exactly what you described.

      "Let’s say we have 1 teacher per 30 students, currently that means 30-students per 1-teacher class. Now let’s envision student spending 50% of the education time online and 50% in class, and we maintain the same number of teachers. This would result in 15-students per 1-teacher class."
      -If a teacher is chosen by 30 students all with $8000 for the entire year , that teacher would have 30*$8000: $240,000 in revenue to the teacher for educating the students.
      -15 students start in the computer lab for half the day; 15 students start in class. Mid-day they switch.
      -15 students one full day in class; the other 15 one full day in the computer lab, then alternate days. alternate weeks, alternate months -- this would be a good experiment to test 100% computers vs the teacher.

      $1000 - 30 computers - $30,000
      12 months x $5000 rent/month - $60,000
      Teacher contract salary - $100,000
      Money to spend on student resources and field trips - $50,000
      Total: $240,000

      If the teacher owned a house and converted rooms into class rooms, less money to landlords. What are rent rates in your town?
      • Jan 11 2013: If you have 15 kids in the computer room, you now need another employee... add $60,000
        You forgot books...add $30,000
        special needs children...add significantly more.

        I have no idea what the cost of these are:
        You forgot network administrators, management, chemistry, physics, and biology laboratories, supplies for the labs, school nurse and academic advisers, disciplinary issues along with their associated costs, and probably a million other things I didn't think of either...and then finally:

        The profit for the company.

        "If the teacher owned a house and converted rooms into class rooms, less money to landlords. What are rent rates in your town?"

        Now we have zoning issues and possible safety issues. Will the fire marshal approve? Is the room big enough? doors wide enough? Electrical wiring up to code? Inspection fees, repair fees, and fees that the teacher will charge, damage caused by students, etc...

        Are we using tax payer dollars to fund religious education? We still expect students to be prepared for a 21st century economy...That means they need to learn science to include biological evolutionary theory.

        How much will it cost the state to certify the school? That is an ongoing expense as well.

        Vouchers harm education, not help
        • Jan 11 2013: Brock,
          Ah, right. $30,000 of book costs but you seem to agree with the rent cost.... You know I designed that question just to set you up, right?

          Back up your $30,000 of book costs or I will have to take ignorance and "[having] no idea" as unifying principles of your commentary. You just don't get it, and you have an agenda.

          it would be great if you could reply to my comment under this thread here so Brock cannot continue disrupting and spamming the commentary. What are your thoughts on the scenario I gave you?
      • Jan 12 2013: Peter, you assume that students utilizing online education will learn at the same rate as when they are with a teacher. That is not the case. There must be a desire to learn and effort made by the students. Just because the education is available does not mean the student will access it.

        In addition, the teacher must create the online materials for the classes he or she is teaching.
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      Jan 11 2013: When you speak of Government are you talking about local, state or Federal?
      • Jan 11 2013: In this case, it is probably all...Education is funded from all sources. More from some, and less from others. Usually, it is the state that does most of the funding, but that depends on your state. If states comply with certain Federal guidelines, they become eligible for Federal funds.

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