As flawed as it is (rich districts, poor districts; diverted spending, "unions too strong for teaching," etc.) it's better than what I see possibly coming. We could easily lose it; or have it replaced by worse alternatives.
Here's how I see this happening
- When home schooling reaches a certain percentage of the
population --about ten percent, I believe --they'll become a political force and begin to have wants. One of them will be, of course, full funding for their home schools. Another might be a revocation of taxes for schools; but that will be for later.
- An unholy alliance will be developed by Home Schoolers, Private Schoolers and Liberals in the Childless Playgrounds once known as Cities. Funding will come from the Corporations who want to replace the public school districts with their "for-profit" alternatives; the Home Schoolers and Private Schoolers will work their networks, pastors/priests and sympathisers, and the Urban Childless Playground Liberals will be wooed by the siren call of "your money is better off in your pocket" (making their effort to forget that Government spending is supposed to redistribute money to benefit the public as a whole).
- Upon the success of this plan, enough money is removed from the public schooling pool that schools are unable to be funded. The public schools continue on for a while, but with thier building stock crumbling, constant strife between teachers and administrators and continuing public perception (greatened by the constant noise from the Private Schooling Corporations and the Private and Home Schoolers' support bases, the schools close up shop, or are replaced by more costly, lower quality private schools (remember: with private companies and corporations there's someone at the top waiting for a cut of the profits. Ponder that, and who pays when their demands get too grea.).
Thing is, for every parent that's dedicated enough to home school and three parents willing to pay for private schooling, there's at least eighty families without the money, the time, the dedication and/or the gumption to do any of the above. For them, there needs to be a public school system to insure the chance is there for a good education for their children.
I should know. My parents talked about private school, even raved about how good it was...and ONLY talked. While I went to good public schools enough of the time (and towards the end of my time there) to allow me a chance at further education, I'd hate to see where I'd be if my only choice was some private school scraping the bottom of the barrel for the sake of their
Thankfully my Father has done better since then.
Next: Why you might want to home school.