Kyle Markley, candidate for Oregon Secretary of State

Kyle Markley
for Oregon Secretary of State

Oregon per-student educational expenditures are fairly typical when compared to other states (Census data, Table 8). However, student achievement is lagging behind. That suggests to me that the problem isn't the amount of funding, but how that money is being spent.

I am not an educator, so I can't say from firsthand knowledge what changes are needed. But I do know that market competition is a powerful force for improvement. Most families are stuck with the public school in their district boundary, whether that school is good or not. I would support a universal voucher system where the education tax dollars follow the student to whatever school the parents choose. Although this might result in situations where parents become responsible for transportation, I would not deny them the choice of which school to send their children to. Every parent — not just the rich ones — should have their choice of school.

Through competition, the better schools will thrive, and the worse schools will either adopt the policies and methods of the better schools, or wither away as their students leave. This will improve the overall quality of education in the state without any need for a top-down mandate or restructuring. All we need is freedom, and a few dedicated parents who are motivated to select a better school for their children instead of sticking with the closest one.

© Kyle Markley
Libertarian candidate for Oregon Secretary of State
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