No Competition!

     A couple of weeks ago, Daniel Greenfield posted an article on a trend in education that has the educrats wringing their hands:

     As the New York Times recently noted, “America’s public schools have lost at least 1.2 million students since 2020.” School systems in woke states were hardest hit. “New York City, the nation’s largest school district has lost some 50,000 students over the past two years” while California lost a quarter of a million students.

     The total loss of over a million students leaves public school enrollment at a historic low.

     Even while trapped in a failed system, those kids still meant money in the bank for teachers’ unions and the leftist politicians funded by dirty money looted from property taxes. Now that they’re gone, both Democrats and unions want to bring back their property to keep the cash.

     The most politically active educrats are strategizing furiously:

     Last week, minority parents protested outside the White House against Biden’s new war on charter schools. Even while the media eagerly covered every pro-abortion activist wearing a handmaid costume, 1,000 parents rallying at the White House received virtually no coverage.

     Why are minority charter school parents upset?

     The Biden administration’s assault on charter schools comes by way of rules which, much like the CDC’s school reopening regulations, were likely written with a great deal of input from the UFT and teachers’ unions, are meant to cut off alternatives to the failed public school system.

     After attacking school choice and now charter schools, all that’s left is homeschooling, and educrats have been pushing for “reforms” to crack down or eliminate that option entirely.

     Please read the whole thing. It’s frightening from first to last. Moreover, it illustrates two critical facts:

  • The Left’s reliance upon its dominance of the educational sector;
  • The utter hatred of failing governmental institutions for any kind of competition.

     The second of those points is the one of particular interest today. Competition compels the competitors to perform: i.e.: to fulfill their “value propositions” to the best of their ability. This is just as true for educational institutions as it is for the makers of widgets.

     For clarity: a value proposition is, broadly speaking, the seller’s argument for buying his product. There are three generic value propositions:

  1. The leading edge: “We make the best of the best.”
  2. The price-performer: “We give you more for less than anyone else.”
  3. The total post-sale service: “We’ll take care of you and all your problems.”

     If you’re wondering which of those propositions is the one the government-controlled schools offer its “customers,” I would ask: Does it matter? They can’t perform acceptably regardless of which one they choose. They’re ruinously expensive; they produce a poor “product;” and whatever problem might arise from their “service,” they wash their hands of it.

     In consequence, the educrats fall back on the non-value proposition that lurks behind all government schemes: “We’ll deprive you of any alternative to us.”

     Consider the aggregate effect of all these factors:

  • Outrageously high school taxes;
  • The imperative of the two-income nuclear family;
  • The use of regulations to impede the formation and operation of private schools;
  • The encroachment of regulations upon homeschooling, such that parents are increasingly being compelled to prove that they “qualify” to teach their children basic literacy, numeracy, history, and civics.

     These are not influences designed to improve government-controlled schools performance, nor to reduce their cost, nor to alleviate the problems a government-provided “education” produces. But they effectively squeeze the supply of alternatives to the bone. They’re mostly accessible to the wealthy.

     That’s what governments do. Alternatives make it all too clear that the government-provided “service” is inferior and costs way too much. So the alternatives have to go. The legislators and regulators who see to that would never admit to their true motives. They’ll always have a rationale that evades the question. Recently it’s been “equity” more often than any other.

     Of course, the “educators’ unions” have their thumbs in the pie as well. It’s in their interest that the alternatives dwindle, too. The absence of alternatives enhances their bargaining power, both against the government and against parents. What can you do about underperformance when there’s no alternative for comparison?

     While we’re on the subject of government’s hatred for competition, view this interview of the scrofulous Pete Buttigieg. Note how eager he is to have the federal government take de facto control of our food and energy supplies. Do any of my Gentle Readers think that would be good for prices or available supplies? Or that the private suppliers of those things would be left in peace, once the Omnipotent State really gets started?

     If you have minor children, get them out of the government-controlled schools and keep them out. Then take a good hard look at your pantry.