Education is far to important to give the government any part in it. It should be left to the free choices of parents and students, and the market for education that has heretofore been stifled by the government. From Jacob G. Hornberger at The Future of Freedom Foundation, fff.com:
Once upon a time, some conservatives used to call for the abolition of the U.S. Department of Education. Lamentably, conservatives today celebrate when a “free-market advocate” like multimillionaire Betsy DeVos is appointed U.S. Secretary of Education, and they get terribly excited when she speaks at conservative conferences.
Meanwhile, even while conservatives continue to pronounce their allegiance to their favorite mantra — “free enterprise, private property, limited government” — they continue to embrace not only public schooling itself but also their favorite public-schooling fix-it program, school vouchers.
Over the years, conservatives have developed various labels for their voucher program: a “free-market approach to education,” “free enterprise in education,” or “school choice.” They have chosen those labels to make themselves and their supporters feel good about supporting vouchers.
But the labeling has always been false and fraudulent. Vouchers are nothing more than a socialist program, no different in principle from public schooling itself.
The term “free enterprise” means a system in which a private enterprise is free of government control or interference. That’s what distinguishes it from a socialist system, which connotes government control and interference with the enterprise.
A voucher system entails the government taxing people and then using the money to provide vouchers to people, which they can then redeem at government-approved private schools.
Does that sound like a system that is free from government control or interference? In reality, it’s no different in principle from food stamps, farm subsidies, Social Security, or any other welfare-state program. The government is using force to take money from Peter and giving it to Paul. That’s not “free enterprise.” That’s the opposite of free enterprise.
Conservatives say that their voucher system is based on “choice” because the voucher provides recipients with “choices.” But doesn’t the same principle apply to recipients of food stamps, farm subsidies, Social Security, and other socialist programs? Sure, the recipient of the loot has more choices because he has more money at his disposal. But let’s not forget that the person from whom the money was forcibly taken has been deprived of choices. After all, after a robber commits his dirty deed, he too has more choices with the money he has acquired. His victim, on the other hand, has been deprived of choices.
To continue reading: Milton Friedman and Conservatives: Wrong on Education