If you believe government should provide education to all youngsters, then you have lost the argument against the proponents of socialism. If you support taxpayer-funded education, why then shouldn’t the government provide health care, transportation, housing, energy, banking, food, etc.? In fact, government has been heavily involved in virtually every aspect of our economy and our lives. In short, America is already heavily “socialized.”
Government education is a microcosm of our society. Government education suffers from RICE—redistribution of income (in New Jersey from the suburbs to the cities), inflationism (the depreciation of the dollar raises prices, in this case the cost of government education), collectivism (government “owns” the schools and all the negative consequences that causes) and egalitarianism (all children no matter the ability of their parents to pay should have the same amount of school aid directed their way).
Nevertheless, one of the worst ideas in public finance is to create a new tax in order to lower a current tax. That was the idea behind the New Jersey income tax. Trenton collects the income tax and distributes the funds to school districts in order to lower or hold the line on property taxes. Currently, suburban school districts get very little back in terms of state aid and some districts actually get zero dollars back from Trenton. Fiscal conservatives should support the abolition of the income tax.
If I were a mayor or president of a local school board of a town that received no or virtually no state aid, I would sue Governor Christie and the Legislature for violating the state constitution for not providing any state aid to my school district. The income tax has been a Trojan horse, plain and simple.
But more importantly, government education is like war. War, it is said, is too important to be left to generals. For the same reason, education is too important to be left to politicians and bureaucrats. That is the real issue.
In addition, why do conservatives want to perpetuate an institution where in general teachers promote big government ideas? It makes no sense to continue taxpayer funding the promotion of collectivist ideology. Public schools are graduating little Barack Obamas and Hillary Clintons.
The best solution is clear: the separation of school and state for the very same reason we have separation of church and state—to allow diversity of religions to flourish and to protect the individual’s freedom of conscience.
Free enterprise has created the greatest amount of wealth in the shortest period in the history of the world. It has lifted more people out of poverty than any “anti-poverty” program devised by government. Yet, free enterprise is vilified for what it supposedly causes—growing income inequality, inflation, social unrest, financial bubbles, etc.
We need a diverse education sector. That is why all freedom-loving individuals should support the separation of school and state.