Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why is school free?

I was just thinking about this the other day while I was talking to my dad and then I went to a training yesterday and the question was posed again, so I figured I must be on the right track. I had a thought earlier this week and it really got me thinking. "What if all public schools charged for students to attend?" I'm not talking a private school type tuition, but something like $500 per year. A little more than $2.75 per school day. It would help pay for school improvements, better lunches, better facilities etc. What would be so wrong with this?

The more I thought about it, the more I actually liked the idea. This is how I would see it playing out. The home property taxes would go down because schools were no longer solely funded by the number of houses in the area. If a student lived in one area but went to a school in a neighboring area, the school would still be financially supported by that student and their family. Schools that have large apartment populations would also reap the benefits of more cash flow from their students. I think this would take a great burden off of school budgets to pay for student who aren't paying for the school as in the current system. It would also allow a stream of revenue for other academic endeavors such as school technology and building projects. Districts would be able to allocate more money to teachers, administrators and personnel since actual per school cost will have a way of being covered. These are just some thoughts.

I'm sure some will argue that "All kids can't afford it." or "That's wrong to make kids to pay for school.". I disagree. I feel that if you want a quality product you should be willing to pay for it. When these same kids buy Jordan's, Coogi sweaters, true religion jeans, baby phat outfits, coach handbags, and ipods I don't hear anyone complaining about cost, so what's so different about their education? If a parent is willing to pay $400 for a playstation 3 with 1 controller and no games you think $500 for the ability to read, write and comprehend would be a bargain. Sadly enough, the masses don't see it this way. They expect a free education. They expect people to want to deal with their unruly children and like it and then they turn around and want to bash the people who take their time and efforts and give their all to try to teach the masses. They say "those who can't do, teach." Well I'd like to see some of those same people stand in front of a crowd of 30 uninterested, unmotivated, untrained, disrespectful strangers and teach them anything. Then you'll see what one class is like. Good luck!

I think a paid education would allow for most of the principles that people want to see in schools. If you're paying, then you expect a good product. This would mean that parents would be more apt to actually take a vested interest in their child's education because they are now footing the bill. Since you are paying, you can now expect teachers, principals and the like to provide the best service available to your child. It's not like they aren't already, but now when you say "I would like to meet with you because I feel something may need to be done better" you have a leg to stand on and the school would be far more apt to listen because it's your business they would like to keep. By supporting your child's school, you could demand for better food, services, supplies and production from your school and what the kicker would be is that the school will actually have funding to implement the changes without the red tape.

These are just ideas of how I think things would go in a paid education system, but I don't think it would be a bad thing. Sure there are holes that I would have to sure up and guidelines that would still need to be put in place but the overall premise is one that I think needs to be looked at moving forward with today's education system. If you have any more ideas, suggestions, concerns, rebuttals, dissenting opinions please feel free to leave a comment or two. Don't forget to follow @ogreen32 on twitter or at for all of the latest updates. Take care!
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