Commentary from the liberterrain…
Who, beyond literate and well-educated individuals themselves, need and actively seek literate and well-educated individuals?
Answer: the world of business.
It’s hard to run a bank without employees with math skills, or design air conditioners without employees with engineering skills, or even sell Lotto tickets without someone who can use a touch screen.
Texas Instruments, the North Dallas semiconductor giant, recently announced a $5 million commitment to help launch and develop the Plano Independent School District’s new academy that will focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
Across the Metroplex, Bell Helicopter announced they’re spending $235 million on new buildings at their Ft. Worth campus, contingent on getting property tax abatements from the city but not from the school district because they want to continue supporting education.
Libertarians like to ponder how schools would be funded in a free society with no government involvement. In this case, Bell could just donate to the school as TI did.
One objection, of course, is that they’re funding only science and technology education that relates directly to their specific needs. What about history and arts and language and all the rest that goes into a well-rounded education?
Government intervention still wouldn’t be needed.
For example, there’s nothing preventing the Museum of Modern Art or the Kimbell or the Amon Carter in Fort Worth’s Cultural District from developing programs on their own dime and making them available to all schools everywhere. This is the electronic age where computers and iPads and Kindles are replacing expensive and inefficient book publishing.
And developing those programs creates great PR, and future visitors and sponsors and contributors, for those organizations.
There’s no end to the special interest institutions that would eagerly develop and distribute courseware for every school in the country, and in the world, if it meant making a profit or creating future customers or just producing positive publicity.
Don’t say it wouldn’t happen because it already has.
One example: back in the 1950s small town car dealerships made new cars available to high school drivers ed classes, figuring that those who learned on a Ford or Chevy or Plymouth would more likely become future Ford or Chevy or Plymouth buyers.
Millions of words have and can be written about the free market in education.
Getting government, and coercive government-created unions, permanently out of our schools would create an Education Renaissance in America.
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