"Not as good as you think" is the title of an extensive Illinois education study released this week in Chicago. The subtitle is: "Why Middle Class Parents In Illinois should be Concerned about Their Local Public Schools." The author Lance Izumi introduced the 152 page study at a breakfast sponsored by the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) partnering with the Pacific Research Institute (PRI).
School Choice may be an answer as explained by Mr. Izumi and his co-author Alicia Chang. By creating choice, competition would exist in our education monopoly. Competition often creates lower costs and better products, and one common way of implementing school choice is with the use of vouchers. Read Izumi and Chang's full study at PacificResearch.com.
The Institute's breakfast was well attended with notables Illinois State Representative Tom Morrison, State Senator Jeanne Ives, 5th District Congressional candidate Vince Kolber, Lennie Jarrett, Michael Carbone & Jim Bassett from Illinois Republican Renaissance, education advocate Jasmine Hauser, Sandee Geringer & Carol Hensel from the Chicago Republican Women's Network, Jonathan Greenberg, Josh Dwyer, Jim Long, and Ted Dabrowski, all from The Institute.
While writing this today, I commissioned my own study (from my iPad on my back porch) with some Illinois numbers to ponder:
4493: number of Illinois Public Schools
2.1 million: elementary and high school students in Illinois
1824: Illinois private schools
13 million: residents of Illinois
866: Separate Illinois School Districts
43,000: elected officials in Illinois
$100 billion: pension debt in Illinois
131,000: Public School Teachers in Illinois
Countless Illinois School Administrators
$140 billion: Federal Department of Education Budget
Billions and Billions spent on public education, primarily from property taxes on homes and businesses
My conclusions are similar to Izumi and Chang's. We need to lower the size, scope, and cost of government. This can be done with less taxes, less spending and less borrowing. This will create more freedom and opportunity for all.
Current trends like the introduction of Common Core only increase the size, cost and control of the federal government. It seems like the U.S. Department of Education should be eliminated today, turning control back to state and local governments. Our children and their education are far too important to let government run amok. Increasing taxing and spending is not the answer. School choice will improve education for all.
The Illinois Policy Institute is hosting some interesting events this month. This Tuesday, June 10, 2014, they are having conservative S.E. Cupp speak at the Hotel Palomar at 6:30p.m. Later in the month, they will be celebrating Milton Friedman's birthday who was born July 31, 1912. More details to follow or contact The Institute at 312-346-5700.