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Monday, August 16, 2004


Public school costs per student are now about twice that of private schools. Charter schools help supply needed competition, but true reform will begin when students pay some tuition directly to the public school of their choice. I do not support vouchers, tax credits, or expanded school funding. I do support charter schools, and I also advocate significant reforms to introduce competition and other market forces, as the only way to make the system responsive to customer needs. Specific steps in that path are:

(1) Repeal compulsory education laws; children are not the property of the state.

(2) Allow students to choose any public school.

(3) Allow schools to reject or expel any student for any reason;

(4) Allow schools to charge student tuition, in amount to be determined by each school in accordance with entrance demand, with the resulting funds to go directly to that school.

I also advocate reforms that require breaking the grip of the teacher unions. They are:

(5) Eliminate teacher tenure regulations and credential requirements, but simply require schools to publish teacher qualifications.

(6) Empower principals to hire and fire teachers at will, and to determine teacher pay based on such things as merit, workload, and supply/demand considerations.

With regard to the tendency toward legislative micromanagement, I would

(7) eliminate all legislative control of curriculum and methodology.

In summary, I would give educators the freedom to educate, and I would give them market-based incentives to be rewarded for success, punished for failure.

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