[School choice] will not result in lowering tuition costs. And how will competition happen once the mandates follow the money? Pretty soon the private schools will look just like the public schools.
I will give you an example. Indiana’s voucher program ended up creating all kinds of regulations on the private schools that were not there before, particularly the curriculum and the testing—which drives the style of teaching.
Indiana passed the first state-wide voucher program in the U.S. about 15 years ago. According to Adam Schaeffer, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom (a conservative think tank):
“…[T]he voucher program will not only expand state control over and homogenize participating schools by requiring adherence to a single state-designed test, evaluation, and curriculum, it will also cut into the market for non-accredited (non-voucher) schools. The likely effect is a serious loss of education freedom and diversity of options in the medium-term and a near-total loss in the long term.
“The voucher law places private schools under the supervision of the state Department of Education, making them accountable to career bureaucrats and political appointees for performance on government standards and curriculum. It is an authorization and framework of accountability to the state, rather than to parents and taxpayers directly.”
David N. Cox
States like Indiana and Louisiana that started sending government funding into K-12 private schools a decade ago are now to the point where they sanction private schools for low test scores on state-standardized tests.
While we can point to some states that haven’t gone as far as Indiana and Louisiana, the fact is that, it’s only a matter of time. This is why Hillsdale College has stayed independent. They refuse to take Pell grants or any dime of government funding.
On the flip side, private schools like BYU have taken federal grants for tuition and research, and now parents are realizing just how steeped BYU is with Critical Race Theory curriculum.
When you get federal dollars to make sure your teachers are properly licensed and now you’ve wrapped home and private school into the mix of government accountability…. what will the outside-the-box education options be then?
How a “market” works is the private schools that don’t take state or federal funding will be more expensive and will struggle to stay afloat. It’s the same argument I made a decade ago about traditional math. When you have 38 states all adopting the same math puritan via Common Core, how long is there a market for traditional math programs? It declines rapidly over time. That’s why American Heritage is struggling because Saxon is no longer going to publish their non-Common Core versions of their math books. They don’t have to destroy it all at once. They put the structure in place and it falls of its own accord.
Similarly, because there will now be extra kids in the publicly funded system, there is no way taxation doesn’t increase over time. That means that those who don’t take the money to homeschool initially, may get to the point where they have no options. It’s a lot like Obama care and private health insurance. You used to be able to get good catastrophic coverage as a private individual for $500 a month for a family. Enter Obamacare, it’s now around $2000. But if you sign up on the government plan, you might only pay $300. At some point, you lose the ability to go it alone and that’s by design.
Homeschoolers face the same dangers as private schools. Once people see that homeschoolers are receiving thousands of dollars of public money, they will start demanding accountability for that money. I’ve seen them do it already.