Another Reason for School Choice

April 25, 2014

A new film on K-12 public education highlights why school choice is important, says Jeff Spalding, director of fiscal policy and analysis at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

"Rise Above the Mark," a film produced by the West Lafayette Community School Corporation in Indiana -- whose public schools are considered some of the best in the state -- argues against public school critics and contends that accountability requirement changes have taken the joy out of teaching and interfered with teachers' ability to help students in need.

  • Spalding, Controller for the City of Indianapolis during the recession, agrees that school officials faced financial challenges, but he points out that public school spending in the last half of the 20th century outpaced economic growth as well as most state and local government spending during that time.
  • The recession was really the first time that schools were forced to deal with funding constraints.

The film blames politicians for misallocating resources. But that is an argument in favor of school choice. Politicians, Spalding says, cannot allocate resources effectively. Only by introducing more consumer choice into the marketplace will funding be better allocated -- by performance and need, not by a partisan political process.

Source: Jeff Spalding, "Public Schools Should Rise Above [Which] Mark?" Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, April 15, 2014.

 

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