Utilising American Capitalism
Paul Osian, Division 2, 11th grade #ws18e-s3d2

Addressing public education is a hot topic nowadays, but people do not seem to acknowledge that it is so. It is one of those aspects in life where we all come to terms of how education is done and all of the learning and effectiveness of education is determined purely based on a student’s dedication and merit. However, many students believe something is wrong with education. There is a certain deficiency in quality regarding public education. There is a lack of awareness and involvement in current issues, as well as a lack of educating students on how to live life. From many different perspectives, education standards upheld nowadays leave out basic, essential knowledge of the adult world, such as filing taxes or being involved in politics. Every year, students and teachers alike propose bills to legislators that certain aspects of the curriculum must change or that school districts must implement a certain accommodation. Rather than directly forcing ideas down the throats of education administrators, it is best that we “force their hand.” I, for one, am not interested in making a whole spiel on why Restorative Justice or education for DREAMers is a good or bad implementation. I would rather “submit” to the interests of the corporation and the federal organization that is the Department of Education. It is not what I can do directly for education, this is more what I can encourage and raise awareness in. My interests are purely based on creating economic competition between private and public schools in order to increase the overall quality of education.

One of the basic principles of the economic free market system is competition. In the business world, it is imperative that a company must stay relevant and above its rival. Otherwise, that company will not gain a profit if the rival is becoming more successful. This is what fuels competition: the constant urge to “one-up” one another to stay relevant. This could be lowering prices, increasing customer service, etc. As companies gain more success, people are happy with the quality, while both companies enjoy increases in profit margins. The whole concept of competition is, however, nullified when a monopoly controls a certain market. Since there is no longer competition, a monopoly does not have to worry about losing a following because they are the only relevant one in the market. One apparent detail to mention is that a monopoly, in a certain market, can do whatever it wants because the consumer does not have another company to choose from. The whole ordeal with monopolies has some application in relation to the public education system. Public institutions run rampant across the United States like a plague. There is no “real need” to improve if there is nothing to worry about. Although the public education system does not receive profit from the families of students, funding from the government is given based on attendance of the students. Therefore, public institutions do not have to worry about their profit margins. Assuming that these institutions only care about profit as an ulterior motive, administrators have the safety of federal funding and do not have the “business” motive to improve. This is one of the reasons why there has not been major innovation and reinvention for education. President Donald Trump’s recent tax policy actually sets the foundation towards competition within the education market. With his tax plan, he removes some funding out of public education and allocates that towards private education in order to gather impoverished children out of low-performing public schools into private schools.

As an avid activist in the political climate in California, I believe that I may have several chances to suggest my proposal on a grand scale. However, the government has a tendency to control a lot of aspects of society, one being education. Although I am one student, I am well connected and involved in major extracurricular organizations. Take, for example, I am a part of the California Association of Student Councils (CASC). CASC is distinguished in making headlines regarding their inquiries towards education. Events such as the Student Advisory Board on Legislation in Education (SABLE) are noteworthy and prominent in CASC’s accomplishments. However, I do believe a new approach in ideas is necessary if any of our bills should get passed through state government. With the midterm elections around the corner, this is great timing for us to “soften up” towards new politicians who are fresh and motivated with ideas and passion. I desire to propose a bill in which the California government would encourage companies and businesses of the sort to start investing in education and create private institutions. California would assist in the creation of this such as providing funds, resources, and land to do so. There is no predicting the tremendous amount of economic, societal, and innovational potential and success that privatized education centers across the state would bring to the table. Rather than trying to have the government find the funds to support types of curriculum we deem fit for California, I would preferably have California support education companies in order for those companies decide what they see fit for children and to bolster their business. This whole concept dives right back into the concept of competition, how companies would want to one-up each other by providing what’s best for the students while making a profit off it.

The entire purpose of this proposal is not to force school districts to do anything. With how the education system is being monopolized at the time being, educational administrators do not necessarily have to worry about improving the curriculum. The concept of the free market and its principle of competition forces the hand of these administrators to finally take the necessary steps of improvement, while the market is being expanded to provide more and better options for parents. All the while, a new market in the United States can really bolster the economy, as well as the security of our society and posterity.
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