TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 11 2013: Sanity in societal systems occurs when there is a balance of power between labor, capital and government. The problem is societies cannot be stable for longer than one generation. SO, no matter what "system" you think is going to work, will work for a short period of time and then society will take it too far. This does not mean that you don't fix your system, it means you need to build a system that is responsive to public pull. It is only public pull that can adjust the system. Public schools went stagnant and needed overhaul. But, most of their problems actually reflected public health problems and lack of parental stability and support. Endless undermining of the school system and of teachers themselves profoundly contributes to this. (Who would become a teacher these days? The burden is enormous the standards keep getting more arbitrary, the pay is terrible and the stress is horrifying)

    Privatization of the entire system would be an unparalleled disaster. It would fall into the same category of things such as the private prison industry. If it were completely private the industry itself would have no compunction to improve itself, it would spend much of its time lobbying for more funds, figuring ways out to skim more fund off for profit and figuring out ways to skirt the standards. If you make the entire system utterly private, no one gets vouchers, no government involvement, you very quickly end up with high end gated schools and tons of illiterate children running the streets. And do not kid yourself that this would not be the direction we'd end up going.

    A public system is more readily amenable to public pressure. Fix the funding system so we have less inequality in the systems. Address the public health problems that plague the communities from which the children come. Elevate teaching in society to be something honored and honorable. Elevate the acquisition of knowledge.
    • Jan 12 2013: Sharon,
      Does the completely private food service industry.... restaurants, delis, farmer markets, and bakeries in your area "spend much of its time lobbying for more funds, figuring ways out to skim more fund off for profit and figuring out ways to skirt the standards." ?

      This is not a private system. This is government redistribution of wealth. Government is taking away $463 billion dollars from high income earners, profitable companies, and landlords and giving most of it to the K-12 children of the 99%.

      Who do you think makes better choices for children about their education:
      A. Children and their parents
      B. Politicians

      Which group is more trustworthy and honest:
      C. Children and their parents
      D. Politicians

      Giving K-12 students money to choose allows them to choose the best teachers in their public school to teach them.
      • Jan 14 2013: In a rational world you would be correct. But, what ends up happening in the real world is something very different. Schools cannot be cost effective in the manner restaurants can so that is not at all a valid comparison. Even if we went to a total private system where families choose and pay for themselves there would be bigger problems of lack of access to even the most basic schools as good schools would not exist at all where the families were poor. Poor parents therefore would have no choices at all. Allowing poor families to fall behind and remain poor damages the entire society. I love your comment that they are taking money and giving it to children. The sad thing is that I think you really believe that. Educating our children is what makes our country able to function on a grand scale. The very idea that we have no responsibility to educate all of our young means you do not see that. In the privatized system we end up with actual redistribution of wealth as we take (by government force) money from some and under the guise of free enterprise give it to those who profit from not educating our young.
        • Jan 14 2013: Sharon, the rich have tricked you again, or else you are a rich person trying to keep the poor out of rich public schools.

          If cost of a public school is $8000 per student. And every parent and student is giving an $8000 voucher, and they all decide to attend the public school they were already attending... What's the problem with that? Why do you have such a problem with the parents and students choosing to spend their voucher money at a public school?

          -This is not a privatized system.
          -The market opens to everyone: Individuals, tutors, charities, churches, NGOs, private enterprises, state owned enterprises, foreign governments.
          -Right now the poor have no choice because they are assigned schooling by zip code. So poor parents currently have no choice.
          -If they were given $8000 per child, they could send their kid to any public, private, tutoring or day care service that is $8000 or less.
          -Sharon, all taxes are redistribution of wealth. And the system I suggested is complete redistribution of wealth. It's clear that you fall in the category of people who do not want the poor attending the public school near you.

          Again: Why do you have such a problem with the parents and students choosing to spend their voucher money at a public school?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.