Unite the USA

August Edition: Importance of School Choice

Left to Right: Stacie Ruth & Carrie Beth
Education and Freedom

"The Golden Rule and Academic Excellence Must Return to School."

August arrives, and school shortly follows. In America, a moral fire alarm rings louder than any school bell: Millions of children currently do not receive the prioritization and excellent education they deserve. Instead, immorality masquerades as political correctness and infects the curricula of public schools. Children need protection and prioritization. A return to excellence, the inclusion of the Golden Rule, and the overall option of school choice would provide a vast improvement for children.  
First of all, education possesses the power to crumble the foundation of a nation. When in the right hands, an educational system molds children into solid, well-equipped individuals who love God, neighbor, and country. However, when in the wrong hands, chaotic and harmful indoctrination floods and destroys a nation. 
Immoral adults currently push agendas into curricula and policies upheld in public schools. Instead of academics, political correctness pervades the scholastic experience. But political correctness incorrectly seeks to solve problems which simply cannot be solved by immoral behaviors and verbiage. 
The government currently masterminds our country's education system. Is this best for our country's children? Milton Friedman cleverly answered the question: "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."
Indeed, big government creates big problems, and its effects on education are no exception. Our kids (and teachers) deserve better. Rather than having the government control our kids' education, parents and the local schools should be given that authority. School choice presents an effective solution that brings freedom, opportunity, and quality education to our schools.
Again, all of America's children deserve to receive an excellent education. School choice stops the abuse created by a bureaucratic monopoly. School choice creates a way to improve schools and greatly benefit kids. 
If made widely available, school choice would allow families to enroll their children in schools other than the ones assigned to them by the current system. It would answer the need for improved education in our nation. And it would improve the future for our children.
Parents could receive school vouchers (funding) to enroll their children in the school of their choice. Vouchers have revealed the inefficiency of government schools by giving a better quality education at less than half the per-pupil cost. 
School children, who are currently forced to attend rundown, inner-city schools, would especially benefit from school choice because it brings school competition to the education system. Each child would receive a voucher for a year's education in any school in the state. When parents exercise choice through the vouchers, good schools would gain the students and the inadequate schools would have to improve or possibly close.
With much evidence to prove its success, vouchers would offer a better (and cost-effective) education. To this date, state-level programs that provide tax credits or scholarships for children in low-income families to attend higher-performing public or private schools have expanded in states like Indiana and Florida. And these policies are proving to be very effective.
All children in the United States deserve to attend great schools. Vouchers would help make that possible. We hope you enjoy this article by Milton Friedman that further explains the importance and freedom of school choice.
Most of all, along with academic excellence, the Golden Rule must be allowed to return to school. Amen?
In God we still trust,
Carrie and Stacie Stoelting
Sisters and Founders of Unite the USA

Why America Needs School Vouchers
By Milton Friedman

Much current discussion of educational vouchers takes it for granted that their primary aim is to improve education for low-income students in urban areas. That would indeed be one of the effects of the full-fledged adoption of vouchers, and it is certainly a worthy objective, but it is very far from the major objective, at least to this supporter of vouchers.

I have nothing but good things to say about voucher programs, like those in Milwaukee and Cleveland, that are limited to a small number of low-income participants. They greatly benefit the limited number of students who receive vouchers, enable fuller use to be made of existing excellent private schools, and provide a useful stimulus to government schools. They also demonstrate the inefficiency of government schools by providing a superior education at less than half the per-pupil cost.

Proper Scale

But such programs are on too small a scale, and impose too many limits, to encourage the entry of innovative schools or modes of teaching. The major objective of educational vouchers is much more ambitious. It is to drag education out of the 19th century - where it has been mired for far too long - and into the 21st century, by introducing competition on a broad scale. Free market competition can do for education what it has done already for other areas, such as agriculture, transportation, power, communication and, most recently, computers and the Internet. Only a truly competitive educational industry can empower the ultimate consumers of educational services - parents and their children.

What is needed for a truly competitive educational industry is an unrestricted voucher of substantial size, such as that put forward in Proposition 38, scheduled for the ballot this fall in California . That proposition provides for a scholarship of $4,000, or half of the average per-pupil funding in government schools, whichever is greater. The scholarship will be available to all students in government schools in the first year after the proposition is passed, and will be phased in over four years for students already in private schools, so that it will cover all students in the state.

For the first time, tax money dedicated to educating the children of California would go to the intended beneficiary - the student - to be controlled by the people most interested in the student's welfare - the parents - and not to an intermediary institution, such as a school or school district. Instead of schools choosing students, as they do now for the 90% of students who go to government schools, students and their parents would choose the school.

What would a competitive educational industry look like? I do not know, nor does anyone else, any more than anyone could have predicted what would happen to the telecommunications industry after the break-up of Ma Bell.

One thing we can be sure of is that a competitive educational industry would be very different from the present private school industry. That industry is selling something for which a competitor - a government school - is offering a close substitute without specific charge. Only two kinds of schools have been able to succeed under those conditions: (1) highly expensive elite schools, some for-profit, others non-profit, and some highly endowed; and (2) parochial and other low-tuition, non-profit schools.

The elite schools appeal to the very rich who can easily afford to pay twice for schooling their children, once in taxes and again in tuition. The parochial and other low-tuition, non-profit schools are in a position to subsidize the schooling they provide and - by keeping tuition fees low - can attract parents who are so dissatisfied with government schools that they are willing to pay twice out of their meager incomes for schooling their children. (There is also a sizable home-schooling industry. Incidentally, is there any other case in which the homemade "product" is greatly superior to the professional product? What an indictment of the government school system.)

Neither of these segments has any incentive to be innovative and experimental. The passage of Proposition 38 would change that situation completely. It would create a potential market with millions of potential customers able to pay at least $4,000 - which is more than most existing private schools charge. That would attract the kind of innovative private enterprise that has been so productive in every other field. Schools would be established that specialized in meeting every kind of substantial demand.

Innovative uses of computers and the Internet would offer new paths to learning. New methods of teaching would replace the old, and costs would go down just as surely as quality would go up. This happened when parcel and message delivery was opened up to competition, when the telephone monopoly was dismembered, when air travel was deregulated, when Japanese competition forced the U.S. automobile industry to change its ways, and on and on. Government schools would have to meet the competition or close up shop.

The teachers' unions that today control the government school monopoly would not relish that competition, even though they would have twice as much per pupil to spend as the size of the voucher. That is why they are going to such lengths to oppose Proposition 38, spending millions of their members' money on frantic political opposition.

Indeed, they are almost the only ones who stand to lose from a competitive educational market. The potential winners are far more numerous. Students would benefit from an improvement in the quality of their education. Teachers, especially good teachers, would benefit from the wider market for their services. Existing private schools would be in a far better competitive position, and could use the additional funds to improve still further the education they provide. Educational entrepreneurs and their financial backers would benefit from the new field opened to their talents.

Taxpayers would benefit from a decline in government spending on schooling, since vouchers equal only half of spending in government schools. Employers would also benefit from a larger pool of better-schooled potential employees. Finally, institutions of higher education would benefit as the need for remedial courses for entering students declined.

Every technological and economic advance since time immemorial has ended up benefiting the poor disproportionately. That would be no less true of the educational revolution that would be triggered by the passage of Proposition 38. As fewer youngsters in the inner cities dropped out of school and more acquired the skills needed for remunerative employment, economic levels would rise, street violence decline, and crime become less attractive to the young.

Social Impact

Failing schools are not the only reason for the parlous state of the inner cities, but they have played an important role. Far and away the biggest winner of an educational revolution would be society as a whole. A better-schooled work force promises higher productivity and more rapid economic growth.

Even more important, improved education would narrow the gap between the wages of the less-skilled and more-skilled workers, and would fend off the prospect of a society divided between the "have and the "have nots," of a society in which an educated elite provides welfare for permanent class of unemployables.

This Month's Bible Verse
"...But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Featured Quote

"If you end up with a population that doesn't know how to read, doesn't know how to write, knows nothing about history, knows nothing about geography, who's going to conduct the affairs of the country?" -Rose D. Friedman,  Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation

Featured Founding Father
John Penn (May 17, 1741 - September 14, 1788) was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as a representative of North Carolina. Penn also served on the Board of War until 1780, when he retired to once again practice law. He served as receiver of taxes for North Carolina in 1784. When Penn died in 1788, he was buried on his estate near Island Creek, in Granville County.

About Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, from 1977 to 2006. He was also Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976, and was a member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981.
Professor Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year. He is widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation.

In addition to his scientific work, Professor Friedman had also written extensively on public policy, always with primary emphasis on the preservation and extension of individual freedom. His most important books in this field are (with Rose D. Friedman) Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962); Bright Promises, Dismal Performance (Thomas Horton and Daughters, 1983), which consists mostly of reprints of tri-weekly columns that he wrote for Newsweek from 1966 to 1983; and (with Rose Friedman) Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), which complements a ten-part TV series of the same name, shown over PBS in early 1980, and (with Rose D. Friedman) Tyranny of the Status Quo (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), which complements a three-part TV series of the same name, shown over PBS in early 1984.

He was a member of the President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force (1969-70) and of the President's Commission on White House Fellows (1971-73). He was a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board, a group of experts outside the government, named in early 1981 by President Reagan.

He had also been active in public affairs, serving as an informal economic adviser to Senator Goldwater in his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 1964, to Richard Nixon in his successful campaign in 1968, to President Nixon subsequently, and to Ronald Reagan in his 1980 campaign.

He had published many books and articles, most notably A Theory of the Consumption Function (University of Chicago Press, 1957), The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays (Aldine, 1969), and (with A. J. Schwartz) A Monetary History of the United States (Princeton University Press, 1963), Monetary Statistics of the United States (Columbia University Press, 1970), and Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom (University of Chicago Press, 1982).

Professor Friedman was a past president of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Mont Pelerin Society, and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and of the National Academy of Sciences.

He also had been awarded honorary degrees by universities in the United States, Japan, Israel, and Guatemala, as well as the Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese government in 1986.

Friedman received a B.A. in 1932 from Rutgers University, an M.A. in 1933 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in 1946 from Columbia University.

He and his wife established the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, for the purpose of promoting parental choice of the schools their children attend. The Foundation is based in Indianapolis and its president and chief executive officer is Robert C. Enlow.

He and his wife published their memoirs: Milton and Rose D. Friedman, Two Lucky People: Memoirs (University of Chicago Press, 1998).

On November 16, 2006, Dr. Friedman passed away at the age of 94 in San Francisco.

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Unite the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a new book by Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth Stoelting. It's a book that empowers patriots to make a big difference in the land we love. With 100+ ways to make a positive difference in America, Unite the USA is a must-have tool for patriots. Unite the USA will inspire and educate Americans to defend faith and freedom. (Important Note: All proceeds go to fund the mission of UnitetheUSA.org.) Order it here today!


In God We Still Trust 
A CD by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted about our God-given freedoms. All proceeds go to Unite the USA. Help promote faith and freedom in America. Your support is important and appreciated. ShopBuy or download a copy today.God bless you as you celebrate the red, white, and blue!


Booking Info
Celebrate the true spirit of America with Carrie Beth and Stacie Ruth. Book Stacie and Carrie for concert or conference! E-mail info@unitetheusa.org for more information.


In God We Still Trust Video

Our country needs to turn to Jesus. Listen to "In God We Still Trust" for inspiration to keep "fighting the good fight". For hope and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".



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