Alliance for the Separation of School & State
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The Education Liberator, Vol. 3, No. 2, February/March 1997

Seven ways you will benefit from Separation

When government involvement with education is ended, we can prudently predict at least seven changes in America's schooling systems:

  1. Your children will be safer. One of the greatest fears parents have today is their children will be attacked at school. Independent schools don't tolerate violence because parents rarely voluntarily send their children into unsafe situations. Schools that are unsafe will lose customers and either end the danger or go out of business.

  2. Your children will get the attention they deserve. Many schools will be student-scaled and have only 50 to 300 children. Teachers will know each other and all the students, eliminating layers of bureaucracy and allowing more flexibility to meet individual needs. The tendency to child-scaled schools is observable today: parent-funded schools average 200/school, whereas tax-funded schools average 530. Also, one-room schools will return because they were far better than the centralizers admitted.

  3. You'll be able to choose the type of school that's right for your child. The diversity of American parents will be reflected in schools just as it is in restaurants, magazines, and churches. This variety will mean that most parents will have the choice of different teaching methods (Montessori, Waldorf, Traditional, Modern, etc.), different religious orientations, and even different ethnicities for families who wish to preserve their heritage (Amish, Hasidic Jews, Mexican Americans, African Americans, etc.). The number of schools in the U.S. can grow from 110,000 to 400,000 within a year of Separation. In addition to immense variety, in urban areas several schools will be within walking or easy commuting distance.

  4. You and teachers will work as a team. Today's tax-funded schools decry the lack of parental support, but what many educators want is a servile parent who brings cupcakes, limits the children's TV time, and votes for all school-tax increases. With Separation, parents will be able to choose schools that reflect their values. In order to attract customers, each school will hire teachers who hold those same values. Parents will again support teachers because they'll know that the teachers are not trying to undermine the family's worldview.

  5. Your state and local taxes will be cut by 50%. Most tax-funded schools today cost $4000-$7000/pupil/year (some eastern states are $10,000). The change to a free market will reduce costs 50 to 60 percent. Appropriate use of technology may reduce costs another 10 to 20 percent. The concept of blending campus-, cooperative-, home-, and self-schooling has the potential of further reducing costs while increasing quality and satisfaction. As a result of these predictable changes, many high-quality schools, especially in urban areas, will be available for $1000-$2000 per year.

  6. Teachers can concentrate on children, not bureaucratic rules. Principals, business people, and teachers who share worldview and education philosophy will start schools by renting space in formerly tax-funded school buildings. Like physicians and other professionals, they'll hire assistants and business managers, not superintendents. Private teacher credentialling services will prevail, like those for Montessori and Waldorf today. Private school accreditation services, such as A.C.S.I, will expand to help assure parents that schools are meeting their stated objectives.

  7. You will live in a society where the poor are better educated. Private scholarships will expand to $20 billion per year to make sure that children in low-income families have access to better schools than today's. This is a prudent expectation, as Americans donate over $30 billion per year now to colleges, and that is before the $300 billion tax cut resulting from Separation.

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