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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 28 2013: I also wonder about accountability in a free market educational system. How do we make sure a parent takes the money and spends it on education? Can a parent buy a cheaper education for his or her child and pocket the difference? How do we make certain that all of the education options will prepare students equally and appropriately? Yes, those schools who do a lousy job will go out of business, but no one will know they have done a lousy job until the students' academic lives have been wrecked.
    • Jan 29 2013: Allan, excellent questions. Football first.

      "where I live and teach, people would beat you to death if you suggested taking away their football program, even if it has never won a game"

      Education cuts across America are targeting the athletic programs, and vouchers present an opportunity for football:

      Fletcher High School's football program under public schooling:
      -ticket sales +$90,075
      -program advertisements and donations: +$15,700.
      -Cash in: +$105775

      -Program cost: -$76,700
      -coaches' pay: -$33,856
      -security costs: -$10,768
      -Cash out: -$121,324
      Total: -$15,549.

      Fletcher High School's football program scenario under $8000 vouchers:
      -30 Football players x $8000: +$240,000
      -ticket sales +$90,075
      -program advertisements and donations: +$15,700
      -Cash in: +$345,775

      -Program cost: -$76,700
      -coaches' pay: -$33,856 -security costs: -$10,768
      Cash out: -$121,324
      Total: +$224,451

      So the students and parents have $224,451 for the 30 athletes to pass education requirements, spend on football, pay other people to take their exams. At $100/hr, they have 2,244 hours of group tutoring to pass exams. They could play football all day 8pm-3pm, then do education at night. With 4-5 hours of practice every day they might win more games.
      Numbers from:
      http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-07-13/story/high_school_football_makes_money_but_not_enough

      Some additional guesses:
      -Parents and students directly responsible for payment, which increases donations and more involvement from families.
      -Parents and students will be better at advertising, ticket sales, and other revenue generation methods because of the increased responsibility and involvement.
      -Coaches will be much more involved in the education, even teaching classes. And because athletes work much harder for their coach than they do for their math teachers, athlete education improves.
      -With athletes removed from normal classes, the nerdy kids they push around have a more enjoyable education experience.
    • Jan 29 2013: Homeschooling encounters many of the questions you ask, so I will address it from the homeschooling perspective.

      If a family figures out how to educate their children for $1000, and the father spends the rest at the bar, that innovative father's techniques can be spread through the community. Now fathers already do this with income they earn rather than spending it on education their children. With vouchers, however, children have aces up their sleeves: their mother, their grandparents, their friends, their friend's parents, parental abuse hotlines, church members, charity, and social pressure from the community. And with vouchers, charities and churches would likely spend more time and effort addressing the issues too. These aces for children do not exist in the current education system because it is a government monopoly run by bureaucrats. With that said, isn't it fair to the dedicated parents homeschooling their kids to give them money that their student would otherwise consume going to a public school?

      1. What % of American parents do you think would cheat their own children out of an education?
      2. Who would sacrifice more for your a child's education and are also in a better position to help them succeed?
      A. The mother and father
      B. Politicians and government officials
      3. Who is more likely to more effectively spend government money on improving the lives of a child?
      A. The mother and father
      B. Politicians and government officials

      All the education options will not prepare students equally, as students and parents have different talents, efforts, and interests. What can be guaranteed is that students will not be forced to go to a school assigned by zip code, that students have choice, that politicians are removed from taking salary out of the education budget, that politicians are removed from forcing textbooks and curriculum, that teachers compete for money from students and parents, and that responsibility is put into the hand of the people.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.