What to do about Funding in Public Schools The public school system in America has long has been an issue of discussion amongst people everywhere. The school system is something we deal with in every state and city in America. It is one system in our country that is in need of great evaluation when it comes to the issue of funding. There are funding gaps that are so large from school to school when it comes to the issue of funding that we have some schools that are barley in suitable living conditions, have the oldest materials and are very understaffed to schools that have the best of everything in every aspect to include the teachers. Is this the type of unbalanced system you want your kids in? People often complain that we need to do something about, give more funding here or there, but the problem surrounding school funding is that we often distribute funding in the wrong way. Well I say it is time we as a whole step up and do something about it; I say we move to a voucher system to develop some competition within public education.
If we do not act on making our schools more equally funded we will put ourselves in a downward spiral until only a few schools are able to provide an adequate education to our youth, I mean come on our nations children already lag behind in many standardized test when compared to other countries. We need to seize our chance to improve on this now because if we let it slide I can guarantee you the problem will only worsen and the public education in our country will only fail. We need to setup a system based more on competition so we can get the schools to want to give our youth a good education. Now many people may oppose to the idea of making schools "compete" for students with the voucher system. They would say that this may be too expensive or it would take away the idea of public schooling and not make it free in the sense that we think of school as free.
Many would say it would be turning the public school system into a "business." While I do agree that it would turn the public school system into a business I do not agree that it would take away from our schools being public in the most literal sense of the word. But it would give people a good way to have a little power in the public system because it would allow parents to decide where they would send their children, not the state. It would also add some incentive for the teachers and staff of the public schools to want to be better, to want provide the best education they possibly can for the students, and would make them want to be a factor in the lives of the students not just another person who they have to see everyday, just because. Therefore, theoretically at least only the schools that could provide the students with all these above mentioned things would be the schools that would get the students.
Whether they are public or private it would be the parent's decision The idea behind the voucher system developed by Milton Friedman is that for each student the parents would be allotted a certain sum of money for their schooling for the year. Now the parent could send their child to any school of their choice, public or private under this system the parents would have better control over the education of their young ones. This means that the parents could put all the money they are allotted towards the school and if it costs more than that amount then they have to pay the difference out of their pocket. This would encourage competition among all schools. It would raise the par on education and we would not have so many of the major funding problems that so many public schools are facing now. Because of this the schools would have the money to give the students a better education because many of them would have all the money they would need to fund themselves.
Teachers would try harder; the schools could be updated with the latest technology and latest materials. In essence it would be like survival of the fittest for the schools, only the one's that really pushed to better themselves would stay around and we would weed out all the others until only the good schools were left." If history shows anything, it is that bureaucratic, monopolistic systems do not work. That is why the school system displays 'all the energy of a Soviet agriculture'" (Conversations Goldberg 25). And this is what we are facing with our school systems as they stand now.
We desperately need to get competition into the system. This is something that the government needs to require of the school system. Like John Stuart Mill wrote, "If the government would make up its mind to require for every child a good education, it might save itself the trouble of providing one" (Conversations Goldberg 26). The thought here is that it would be up to the parents not the governments. It would take a large burden of "providing an education off the government while still "requiring" it to be done. Control would be in the hands of the parents and schools.
This is a system that has many advantages to it. One is that "instead of a stagnant, monopolistic regime that prevents others from trying to do better, a competitive enviorments exists that invites and encourages innovation" (Conversations Goldberg 26). The school system would be pushed to make changes that would challenge the children. The changes would make the children want to be in school everyday.
Under the voucher system the schools would be catering more to the needs and wants of the students. It (The school system) would be a place that catered to what was in demand in the market, not just to what people thought should be traditionally taught in school. Another important advantage to the voucher system would be the benefits that it would have for the parents. Like I stated before they would be more in control of their student's education. Therefore they would be more involved in what is going on in the school system. As it stands now in the school system you, the parent, is virtually powerless against the schools.
There is no one aspect of education that you as the parent have control over. All you can really do is stand-by and watch as the school tells your child what to learn, whether they are good at that subject of not. Let's assume for a minute that all students have different levels of abilities, needs, and a different pace at which they learn, which they do. In the system currently schools do not really cater to the student needs wants or pace.
They just lump everyone into a certain grade by age level mostly and teach them what has conventionally been taught in schools for years. They do not care if a few students are not up to pace, nor do they care whether or not the students really want to be in a certain subject for one to two hours a day. Not all students need to be in an art class, if they do not enjoy it and do not excel at it then why keep them in the class. Instead they could be off in another class of their choice that would better suit their needs and abilities. And under the voucher system the parent would be able to choose a school that has a curriculum that could suit the needs of the student in a much better way.
I am not saying that the student could go without Math, English or Social studies because those are subjects that we use in our everyday lives. But they could be structured more like the colleges in America today, where people choose their classes according to what they want to be in life. Or they could choose them according to how fast the student was able to learn. Some of the critics of the system might say that this would not be good because some of the children may get leaps and bounds ahead of others in terms of learning, but that would not be too much of a problem as the students would be required to pass in all the same generalized subjects. Under this system they may say that it would be unfair to the private schools like because they would have to adopt all the same criteria as the public ones. "Since the government would be involved in funding the system...
it would have to establish criteria for hat constitutes a school" (Conversations Goldberg 28). The public school system needs some help and this seems to be on of the best ways to do it. We have to cater to our youth or they will lose interest in what is going on in their lives. Now some of the critics will say that there is no way this system could effectively work. They may say that the parents do not know what's best for the child and that should be better left to the schools. However, I do not think this is at all a problem the parents have every right to be able to send their children to a school of choice if it means a better education.
And the child also has a right to a good education after all I thought that is why we have a public education system. There is no reason one child should be given a better education simply because his or her parents make more money. That does not make a child smarter, rather more privileged. And I thought schools did not cater to the students. Well that is what the system seems to be doing at this point. I feel the subject of school funding is one that is in need of serious evaluation.
And I feel that the voucher system is the best way we can tackle the subject. Now instead of just talking about making reforms we can go ahead with it and actually do something about it. Our schools need to better prepare out students for their lives. The only foreseeable way to do this would be to impose the voucher system. Without it there will be no competition among schools and there will be no more advancement than there currently is. If we have competition this will encourage improvement among our children, it will make them come up with new ideas and push to really make themselves the best students they can be.
In closing I must say that all children are different, so we need to treat them all different and appeal to how each of them learns. If we do not do that then we are keeping ourselves in that downward spiral.