School Choice

Our inner city public schools are a national disgrace.  All too many inner city high school graduates lack competent literacy and math skills.  Apple and Nike employ vastly more unskilled labor in Asia than in our inner cities.

Republicans say our children’s lives would be improved by giving their parents School Choice.  If charter schools were allowed to compete against against public schools, the beneficiaries would be our children.

Democrats disagree.  They say competition would undermine the ability of public schools to do a good job.  We don’t spend enough on our public schools.

Who’s right?  Maybe neither is right.

New York spends about $25,000.00 per year per student on its public schools.  Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis spend less, but they all spend as much (or even twice as much) as a New York resident has to pay for tuition for a college education at SUNY.

Here’s a suggestion.

Over the course of 12 years of public school, we spend a quarter million dollars on each inner city child.  Instead, let’s give each inner city child a quarter million dollars at birth.  The money can be invested in the stock market, like the trust funds of our prep school children.  Our inner city children would enter adulthood with more than a million dollars instead of a worthless diploma.

Our inner city children no longer would be unemployable political pawns.  They would be able to start their own small businesses and support their families.  They would be free from the Sirens of public assistance and crime.

And how would our inner city children get an education under my suggestion?  That’s an easy question to answer.  How do they get an education now?

My suggestion, of course, is hyperbole.  My hope is that it stimulates a genuine national interest in the lives of our inner city children.  May their high school diplomas one day soon have meaning.

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