It’s galling enough that people who don’t have children in public education have to pay for people who do. What’s downright infuriating is when everyone pays for education while schools remain on lockdown due to teachers’ unions’ intransigence. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
In many school districts across the nation, public school teachers still don’t want to go back to work. Private sector workers have long been hard at work in kitchens, at construction sites, and in hardware and grocery stores. Meanwhile, from Seattle, to Los Angeles, and to Berkeley, California, Teachers’ Union representatives insist they simply can’t be expected to perform the on-site work in the expensive facilities that the taxpayers have long been paying for.
This week, for example, some schoolteachers in Colorado’s Jefferson County turned out to protest the district’s plan to return to limited in-person learning later this month. These protestors still insist it’s unsafe, even though the very institutions these people have long parroted in favor of endless lockdowns—the CDC and the World Health Organization, for instance—say reopening schools should be a “top priority.” Moreover, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have concluded “The lower risk of transmission of the virus by younger children and reported milder or moderate illness in this age group suggest the appropriateness of in-person instruction for primary and elementary grades.”
But that’s not good enough for public school teachers. So, in many cases, parents who actually want or need to send their students to an in-person school must go to the private sector instead. The government schools in these places can’t be bothered, but the private schools are racing to serve the public.
The most absurd aspect of all this is that even when public schools effectively tell parents and students to “get lost,” taxpayers still have to pony up the cash to pay for the public schools. If any private sector industry tried to function this way, it would be denounced in no uncertain terms. But it doesn’t happen this way because in the private sector—unlike the public schools—business owners and employees don’t get paid if they refuse to work. In other words, the customers can take their money and leave.