Economic competition lowers prices, offers increased selections, and results in more features. Think of desk-top, lap-top, and tablet computers, automobiles, smart phones, televisions, and delivery of entertainment (cable, satellite, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).
But when it comes to education, the State wants its monopoly and you and me to pay for it. Today’s government educators running the show can’t allow for competition. That’s why at every turn teacher unions fight hard against charter schools and school vouchers.
Here’s the latest education story that demonstrates that union and top education officials are not about what’s best for the education of children but what’s best for their control of education.
“Wisconsin taxpayers have been forced to spend millions of dollars to take care of empty Milwaukee Public Schools buildings the district refuses to sell to choice school operators.
“MPS’ 15 vacant structures, some of which have been unused for close to a decade, are costing state and local taxpayers approximately $711,000 per year in utility and maintenance expenses.
“Wisconsin Reporter did a study of the 10 largest school districts in the state and found that, compared to Milwaukee, the nine others have a combined total of just five idle buildings, costing taxpayers about $83,000 a year.”
These buildings could be sold but the Milwaukee Public School System “has been blocking several charter and private schools in the choice program from buying nearly every one of its unused facilities. . .”
Some MPS board members contend that selling the schools to private or charter school advocates would be competition for the government schools, therefore, “it doesn’t make sense to sell those buildings to choice schools, even if taxpayers are left on the hook for millions of dollars.”
Here’s the logic that’s being used: “It’s like asking the Coca-Cola Company to turn over its facilities to Pepsi so Pepsi can expand and compete with the Coca-Cola Company,” board president Michael Bonds told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Education is not about selling snacks and soft drinks. It’s about human beings. If selling these buildings could enhance the educational opportunities for more students, then it’s a winning proposition for everybody.
Competition makes for a better everything. If the unused schools were sold, and the new private schools offered a better education, one would think that it would force the government schools to work harder and produce a better product.
By selling the schools, taxpayers would not have to fund the maintenance of vacant buildings and the students would get a better education because of the competition.