One proposal for privatizing education for improving it is one that I made first close to 30 years ago in a book that was published — well, it was in an article first, then the book that was published just about 30 years ago — is a voucher system, which has gotten a lot of attention, which is simply the idea that parents should be able to decide what school their children go to.
What you should do is to say to every parent — if you send your child to a public school, to a government school, it’s costing the taxpayer now roughly abut 4,000 to 5,000 dollars per student. So if you decide to send them to any other kind of a school, we’ll give you a voucher worth 3,000 dollars, so we can make some money out of it too. Let’s say, just for example, by which you can choose any school you want, governmental, private, nonprofit, profit-making, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, whatever, any school you want. The parent should have the choice. Those of us who are in the upper income classes have that choice now, because we can afford to pay twice for schooling, once through taxes and once directly toward tuition. People who are hurt by the present system are the poor people, and the people who are hurt worst are those in the inner cities who cannot get a decent education for their children.
Now, the voucher system, there have been some, quite a large number of public opinion polls about how people feel toward various proposals including the voucher system. In every poll that has been taken, the group which gives the largest majority in favor of the voucher system are the blacks. The blacks vote two-to-one in favor of the voucher system. There is not a single black leader who has come out in favor of the voucher system.