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Why Don’t Bad Public Schools Go Out of Business?

If a store sells inferior products or a business gives bad service, most customers will not come back and that store or business will eventually go bankrupt. If public schools sell bad education, year after year, why don’t they go bankrupt? Why don’t they go out of business?

The answer is government compulsion. In private schools, if the school does a bad job educating children, parents will soon take their child out of that school. If enough parents take their kids out of the school, that school and its owner will go bankrupt. A private school depends on the voluntary consent and tuition payments of its parent-customers to stay in business.

Unlike private schools, public schools are a government-controlled education system that stays in business through naked compulsion. Local governments pass laws that violate parents’ fundamental rights by giving school authorities near-monopoly powers over our children’s education.

Compulsory Attendance

Compulsory-attendance laws force children to go to these schools until they are 16 years old (the age varies for each state). If a parent refuses to send her child to public school (and can’t afford a private school), she can be prosecuted for child “neglect” by social-service agencies.

Local governments force parents to pay for these schools through compulsory school taxes, whether or not parents think these schools are worth the money. If a parent refuses to pay his school taxes, his friendly local government will foreclose on his home.

Unlike private schools, public schools rarely go out of business, no matter how bad they are, because they get their “customers” (our children) and their money by force (taxes). In effect, public schools are an education tyranny.

Compulsion rears its ugly head in our public schools in many other ways. In most cases, teacher-licensing laws prevent excellent but unlicensed educators or outside experts from teaching in the schools. Tenure laws make it almost impossible for school boards to fire bad teachers or principals.

Education By Force

Local governments force children to go to public schools for six to eight hours a day, five days a week for up to twelve years, even though these children might hate public school. School authorities force children to study subjects that school authorities dictate, even though children might find these subjects boring or meaningless. Public schools also force parents to accept teachers that parents might not like or think are competent.

Many public schools force children to learn math and reading with teaching methods that can cripple children’s math and reading abilities, such as “whole-language” reading instruction (called “balanced literacy” or “language arts” today), or “fuzzy” or “new” math. If and when parents complain about these teaching methods, public schools can and often do ignore parent’s complaints.

Public schools often subject innocent young children to shocking sex-education classes that parents detest or object to. Many public schools now allow special-interest groups to push their agenda on innocent children, such as homosexual, feminist, multiculturalist, or environmental (the sky is falling) groups, with or without parent’s consent.

Teacher unions have pushed the idea of making kindergarten compulsory. It seems that public-school advocates want to get their hands on our children when they are only three years old, snatched from the arms of mothers who might not like that idea. The list goes on and on.

Bad public schools don’t shut down, and the entire system is beyond repair, because this system rests on a foundation of naked government force. Take away compulsory-attendance laws and compulsory school taxes and it’s highly likely that most public schools would “go out of business” because parents would take their business elsewhere.

Educational Options — Alternatives to Public Schools

But parents don’t have to wait for the highly unlikely event of public schools going out of business in their lifetime. Luckily, parents in America, unlike those in Germany or many other countries, still have the right to homeschool their children. Parents can also take advantage of new education options available to them right now, such as low-cost, K-12 Internet private schools that cost less than $950 a year tuition. I go into detail about these new education options in my book, “Public Schools, Public Menace.”

Also see: Why Christian Education Is Important.