June 8, 2016

Why is choice desirable for health care, but not for K–12 education?

Here are some comments in reply to a comment posted at a campaign press release published at Vermont Digger concerning school choice in Vermont.

If public schools are the foundation of a civil society, then shouldn’t private schools be banned? Or is freedom of choice – another foundation of civil society – to be available only for the rich? Furthermore, it is disingenuous in the extreme to equate most private schools, particularly in Vermont and neighboring communities, with for-profit schools preying on a very real need in failing urban school systems. Traditionally, private schools are not run for profit, and school choice in Vermont makes many of them as “free and open to all” as public schools. In fact, school choice makes public schools more open to all as well. Not just for the sake of civil society, but more importantly for the sake of every child’s unique and immediate education needs and interests, such opportunity needs to be expanded, not curtailed.

Finally, the commenter’s comparison with health care couldn’t be further off. Again, most hospitals and clinics are not for-profit. And school choice is analogous to single-payer, which is both more progressive and more efficient than for-profit insurance, which limits choice and drives up costs.