What Would Happen We Got Rid of the Department of Education?
In Ron Paul’s plan to cut 1 trillion dollars during his first year, he would eliminate the Department of Education. But what would that mean? Would everybody lose their jobs? Would schools crumble, and kids run in the streets? What would happen to my job?
I would probably be laid off. As would all teachers. And there would be no more schools for a while. It would be painful. Millions of teachers would lose their jobs.
But keep in mind, Ron Paul has also cut the federal income tax. Because with all the cuts he’s made in government, we don’t need an income tax to run the country anymore. And how much money did you pay in taxes last year? I know I paid thousands of dollars in taxes. What if you could keep that money?
Every American would be thousands of dollars richer, because we wouldn’t need to pay that income tax. Many people would use some of that money to send their kids to a private school. And with all the new small private schools springing up, they would need to hire lots of teachers. Teachers would get re-hired, and have to work much harder, because they knew they could be fired for being lazy.
There would be lots of competition. Education might look like McDonalds, with small and cheap mini-schools all over the place. Prices would go down, and quality would go up. Parents would try to send their kids to the best schools for the cheapest price. Or education might look like the car industry, with commericlas and financing options. “Send your kid to our school! We have the highest test scores in the state, at only $999 a year!”
So the cost of education would go down. And without all those federal aid grants, the price of college would go down too. People wouldn’t have to go into so much debt, because it might again be possible to work the summers to pay for college.
Also, a school could hire anybody they wanted. Even if they didn’t have a teacher’s license. They could hire a businessman to teach business. Hire a computer programmer to teach about computers. Schools could hire authors to teach English, musicians to teach music, and scientists to teach science. And if a teacher wasn’t performing well, they would get fired, and some other plucky teacher would be given a chance. With all that competition, education might blossom.
What about poor people? Wouldn’t they be hurt, because they wouldn’t be able to pay for an education. It is true that without a government regulation, some poor people wouldn’t go to school. But it’s also true that right now, many people in poverty don’t go to school. And with all the new cheap schools springing up, there would be more opportunities for the poor to get an education. Through internet schools, home schooling, or private schools who took in the poor for charity. If people knew that the government wasn’t providing for education, more money would be given to private charities who would better monitor a school’s progress. And one only needs to look at an impoverished country to know that even the poorest of the poor can send their kids to private schools that outperform our American schools.
Good teachers could be paid more than bad teachers. Imagine a good teacher being paid $15,000 more because she helped her kids ace their calculus tests. If the teacher was really good, it might be worth paying that much to help impoverished kids succeed. And without all that beaurocracy, more money could go to the classrooms. Teachers might finally be paid what they’re worth.
Yes, it is true that the opposite might happen. If the Department of Education were abolished, education might flounder. Poor people might suffer. Our schools might burn, and our kids might become stupid. And the transition period would definitely be painful. But isn’t it worth looking into, as long as education might become much, much better?