Monday, July 22, 2013

Has Rand Paul Turned Into a Friedmanite School Voucher Lover?

Now that Jack Hunter is fired is Rand Paul moving on an attempting to meet the next demand of the neocons and separating himself from his father. Note in the below media advisory that there is no mention of homeschooling.

From a Rand Paul media advisory:
 NEXT TUESDAY, July 30, Sen. Rand Paul will host Success for Our Children: A Forum on School Choice. He will be joined by co-hosts Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R- Utah), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.). The Senators will speak with various panels composed of parents and students from Washington, D.C.’s top performing charter and private schools, as well as advocacy organizations from the school choice movement.
Wikipedia points out that charter schools are  (my bold)

 In the United States, charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money (and may, like other schools, also receive private donations). They are subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools, but generally have more flexibility than traditional public schools.
Wikipedia, before getting to homeschooling, defines the school choice movement as (my bold)
School choice is a term or label given to a wide array of programs offering students and their families alternatives to publicly provided schools, to which students are generally assigned by the location of their family residence. In the United States, the most common option offered by 'school choice' programs are educational voucher programs. These programs offer a given student and their family the option to take a subsidy from public educational funds and put that money towards tuition in private schools.

Murray Rothbard accurately discussed the problems with the voucher system in his book For A New Liberty: 
Professor Milton Friedman, an economist at the University of Chicago, has performed an important service in separating out money sums from various aspects of government subsidy, in education as well as in other areas. While Friedman unfortunately accepts the view that every child should have his schooling provided by the taxpayers, he points out the non sequitur in using this as an argument for public schools: It is quite feasible for the taxpayer to subsidize every child's education without having any public schools whatsoever! In Friedman's now famous "voucher plan," the government would give to every parent a voucher entitling him to pay a certain amount of tuition for each child, in any school of the parent's choice. The voucher plan would continue the tax-financed provision of education for every child, yet enable the abolition of the vast monopolistic, inefficient, dictatorial public school bureaucracy. The parent could then send his child to any sort of private school that he wished, and the range of choice for every parent and child would then be maximized. The child could then go to any type of school — progressive or traditional, religious or secular, free enterprise or socialistic — the parent desired. The monetary subsidy would then be totally separated from the government's actual provision of schooling through a public school system.
While the Friedman plan would be a great improvement over the present system in permitting a wider range of parental choice and enabling the abolition of the public school system, the libertarian finds many grave problems yet remaining. In the first place, the immorality of coerced subsidy for schooling would still continue in force. Secondly, it is inevitable that the power to subsidize brings with it the power to regulate and control: The government is not about to hand out vouchers for any kind of schooling whatever. Clearly, then, the government would only pay vouchers for private schools certified as fitting and proper by the State, which means detailed control of the private schools by the government — control over their curriculum, methods, form of financing, etc. The power of the State over private schools, through its power to certify or not to certify for vouchers, will be even greater than it is now.

This is just another attempt by Rand to dilute the libertarian perspective. Wake me up if Rand ever has a panel on education that includes Ron Paul, Gary North and Tom Woods.

1 comment:

  1. Off topic, but I had never heard this excellent Rothbard joke-fest mocking John Maynard before. From 1989: