Salon gets it totally wrong on how public schools work

July 1, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Salon doesn’t understand what public education is. This is why their headline manages to get this so wrong: “School’s out forever: Arizona moves ‘to kill public education’ with new universal voucher law.”

Salon’s assumption is that public education is a monopoly run by the teachers’ unions and the educational bureaucracy. That is the way, after all, that all children can be indoctrinated into the progressive mindset and misinformation.

What Arizona has done is still insist upon a public education system. One still funded by taxes and one that insists that every child is educated. It’s just that it is no longer to be that monopoly dominated by the teachers’ unions and the educational bureaucracy.

This is known as a universal voucher system. Any accredited school can accept the vouchers that pay for education. Further, each parent can direct a voucher where they wish to pay for parts of their child’s education. This is not a non-public school system. The proper definition of a public school is not one run by the unions, it’s one that the public goes to. This is a system that frees public schooling from the dictates of the unions and bureaucracy.

There’s also an amusement here. For we hear much of democratic socialism these days, how so much in Europe is done better than it is in the US. This universal voucher system is actually a copy of the Swedish education system. Any two accredited teachers may open a school, any parents may send their child to any such school and the government sends the voucher, with the child, to pay for it. Which does leave us with the question of why the Democratic Socialists are so against a Democratic Socialist system.

Salon is one of the poster children of the online progressive media. It ranks around 60 in the listings of “law and government” outlets. It gains some  9 million visits a month as it does so.

We do think it would be helpful if Salon, as with other progressive outlets, actually understood the European, Democratic Socialist way that they say they support. A system of public schooling where parents get their say seems most democratic to us and that it is still based upon tax funding goes a long way to making it socialist as well.


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