There is a way for all children to receive a quality education: school choice.
Rebecca Friederichs, a public school teacher in California, explains in Prager University’s latest video–the first in a four-part series on school choice–that school choice works because it allow parents to decide which school they want to send their children to, whether it’s a “public, private, charter or even homeschool,” instead of allowing the government to mandate where children attend school based on their zip code.
The results speak for themselves, as “students in school choice programs saw their reading and math scores improve by 27 percent and 15 percent, respectively,” per a University of Arkansas study. The problem is that teachers’ unions are a major obstacle toward achieving school choice.
Teacher’s unions raise over $300 million annually from mandatory fees, which are used to advocate for more taxpayer dollars for education. However, that money is actually used to empower the teacher’s unions rather than improve the quality of education. For instance, “California, which ranks 45th in the nation in reading and math despite spending over 55 billion dollars a year on education.”
“That’s over 52% of the state’s total budget,” Friederichs said. “Yet rarely is anyone held accountable for these dismal results. I’ve personally seen excellent, new teachers lose their jobs while incompetent, and even abusive, veteran teachers keep theirs because of the unions’ infamous ‘last in, first out’ layoff and tenure rules.”
School choice wrestles away the teachers unions’ iron grip on education by allowing teachers to be held accountable and not be subject to the unions’ regulations. That’s why teachers’ unions are so virulently opposed to it–they hold their power as a higher priority over the quality of education.
The Supreme Court may have struck a blow to school choice in the deadlocked Friederichs v. California Teachers Association case, which upheld the ability for teacher’s unions to charge mandatory fees to even those aren’t members of the union, but Friederichs remains optimistic.
“The unions and the politicians do not ultimately have the power,” Friederichs said. “We do. If you believe, like me and millions of others, that parents–not the government–should decide where their children go to school, and that competition will make all schools better, then join the school choice movement.”
You can take Prager University’s pledge to support school choice here.
Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter @bandlersbanter.