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Education Vouchers
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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/6/08
A voucher system is an alternative method of funding education. Instead of tax revenue being distributed to state-run schools, parents are issued directly with vouchers, which can be spent on education in any school, privately or publicly run. Schools therefore compete for pupils and the funds that come with them. The debate asks what role the state should play in the education system. Should parents have more choice over where their children are educated? Or should state funds remain under state control?

PRO 1:

• State-educational provision is failing, despite increasing investment in it. Children are locked into bad schools, particularly in inner-city and under-privileged areas. Parents must be given the opportunity to escape from bad state education systems if educational standards are to improve.

CON 1:

• Vouchers take funds away from the schools that need them most. Schools operating in rich areas will ask more than the basic voucher price, while schools operating in the most difficult circumstances, dealing with socially excluded groups will be restricted to the basic voucher amount. Funds should be targeted to schools that need them, not schools who are already succeeding.

PRO 2:

• Bad schools must be allowed to close and good schools expand. There is no point pumping money into fundamentally unsound schools.

CON 2:

• Education cannot be a market. Supply cannot adjust fast enough to changing demand (schools cannot be built, or expand, overnight as parents change their minds) so some pupils will always end up stuck in dying, under-funded schools because over-subscribed schools cannot expand fast enough. Such pupils need to be helped, not ignored.

This is all quoted from this site.... http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?topicID=180

For more Pros and Cons head to the link.

My Opinion: Me being a conservative I like the idea of a Voucher system. With competition for children it forces schools to raise standards and overall improving the system. Bad schools will go out of business and good schools will become popular. Without competition schools will always be the same and never evolve into something great. It gives chances to the poor to go to good schools as well.

It's an idea that is already being talked about. Even the some of the new presidential candidates are considering it.

Thoughts?
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M / Menzoberranzan
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Posted 1/6/08
Sounds like a bad idea to me, but that's just because I believe that you couldn't weed my city for any more that 1-2 thousand dollars a month.
954 cr points
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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/6/08

Geshnurpla wrote:

Sounds like a bad idea to me, but that's just because I believe that you couldn't weed my city for any more that 1-2 thousand dollars a month.


No no no. You don't pay a cent. You get a voucher from the state that is worth one years worth of education for a school. Everyone gets the same amount so there is no discrimination between how rich your are, race or sex. The school wants to convince as many people as possible to join there school so that they can collect the vouchers and redeem them for cash from the state. The more vouchers they get the more money they get. Think of it as all the schools being their own separate business. Get it?
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30 / M
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Posted 1/6/08
I am team CON.

The first PRO argument sounds already wrong. Escaping from bad education systems does not improve educational standards of state schools. It destroys them.

Second PRO argument: "fundamentally unsound schools". Just what the heck is a definition of an "unsound school". Is that a school where the buildings are so dilapidated that they are "unsound"? In which case then the school actually needs more attention and funding.

Second CON argument says it all though. Education is a public good. If you left it to free market economy to decide, everything will crumble in the end because its something that is not profitable and sustainable in the short run in the first place. Vying which schools should stay and which school should not is just like a demand and supply mechanism. If the state doesn't take control of this even to a certain level, there will be more social costs than benefits.

State control is crucial.
SamMan 
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F / Bothell, WA, USA
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Posted 1/6/08
I think system is bad in general but kid in school are not helping either. If they had better out look thing would go a lot better. I think after elementary school their should be a lot more choice in study. Plus we should teaching education not through grade but through fun. Like let them speak and think for them self. I think every level need to change. Why let start looking at Europeans way.
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30 / M
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Posted 1/6/08

Apothem wrote:

Think of it as all the schools being their own separate business.


Which is actually the main reason why it is bad. This is one of the main principal faults of capitalism/free market economy: the profit motivation usually ignores Social costs and benefits.

Education is one of the public goods. Its hard to explain without going through a very lengthy economics explanation, but to put it simply, its one of those things that don't make sense when cost and revenue are concerned because the product in question, Education, is not something that you can easily put a monetary value on. Social costs and benefits are almost impossible to appraise.

There are so many other factors such as geographical location, urban conditions and social benefits that affect the value of one school and if you give the public power to take control over the "production of education", it will result in underproduction of social goods.
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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/6/08

projectcedric wrote:

I am team CON.

The first PRO argument sounds already wrong. Escaping from bad education systems does not improve educational standards of state schools. It destroys them.

Second PRO argument: "fundamentally unsound schools". Just what the heck is a definition of an "unsound school". Is that a school where the buildings are so dilapidated that they are "unsound"? In which case then the school actually needs more attention and funding.

Second CON argument says it all though. Education is a public good. If you left it to free market economy to decide, everything will crumble in the end because its something that is not profitable and sustainable in the short run in the first place. Vying which schools should stay and which school should not is just like a demand and supply mechanism. If the state doesn't take control of this even to a certain level, there will be more social costs than benefits.

State control is crucial.


How would it crumble? It supposed to be profitable so that it encourages schools to expand and offer more. For example, school clubs would be funded. Also, specialty classes would be added such as Automobile Class, Home Economics, Engineering Classes for high schools, and expanded art classes(stuff never offered in my city).

The way system works now strangles the expansion of schools. New ideas would have to go through state bureaucrats first.

Also, mind giving me an example of the Social Costs? I don't understand what you mean. :P


projectcedric wrote:


Apothem wrote:

Think of it as all the schools being their own separate business.


Which is actually the main reason why it is bad. This is one of the main principal faults of capitalism/free market economy: the profit motivation usually ignores Social costs and benefits.

Education is one of the public goods. Its hard to explain without going through a very lengthy economics explanation, but to put it simply, its one of those things that don't make sense when cost and revenue are concerned because the product in question, Education, is not something that you can easily put a monetary value on. Social costs and benefits are almost impossible to appraise.

There are so many other factors such as geographical location, urban conditions and social benefits that affect the value of one school and if you give the public power to take control over the "production of education", it will result in underproduction of social goods.


I still do not see how the public will drive the "production of education" into the ground. Your still not clear on this or I still do not understand wha t you are saying. And yes you can put monetary value on education. Why not? Look how the Private Schools battle it out.

Edit: Sorry for the Double Post.
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30 / M
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Posted 1/6/08

Apothem wrote:


projectcedric wrote:

I am team CON.

The first PRO argument sounds already wrong. Escaping from bad education systems does not improve educational standards of state schools. It destroys them.

Second PRO argument: "fundamentally unsound schools". Just what the heck is a definition of an "unsound school". Is that a school where the buildings are so dilapidated that they are "unsound"? In which case then the school actually needs more attention and funding.

Second CON argument says it all though. Education is a public good. If you left it to free market economy to decide, everything will crumble in the end because its something that is not profitable and sustainable in the short run in the first place. Vying which schools should stay and which school should not is just like a demand and supply mechanism. If the state doesn't take control of this even to a certain level, there will be more social costs than benefits.

State control is crucial.


How would it crumble? It supposed to be profitable so that it encourages schools to expand and offer more. For example, school clubs would be funded. Also, specialty classes would be added such as Automobile Class, Home Economics, Engineering Classes for high schools, and expanded art classes(stuff never offered in my city).

The way system works now strangles the expansion of schools. New ideas would have to go through state bureaucrats first.

Also, mind giving me an example of the Social Costs? I don't understand what you mean. :P



Hmm.. this is gonna be quite hard but I'll try to explain.

Usually, in Economics, the value of a product is price, right? Which is based on currency and inflation and other stuffs. Price is determined by demand in supply (where they meet). Demand, of course, is the demand of consumers, and these consumers are willing to pay a certain price for their goods depending on how much they want or need those goods collectively. Supply is set by the producers. The producers will take into consideration costs of production. These costs of production are things like how much resources were used, how much raw material, how much labor, etc... things that have monetary value.

When the transaction is completed, the benefits to the consumer and the cost to the producer are the direct costs and benefits. Social costs and benefits are effects of the transaction to third party people. For example, if I buy a car, I pay only for the benefit for me and the cost of the producer. But the car may have negative effects onto the surroundings such as pollution, noise, traffic, etc... things that you cannot put a monetary value on. Those are social costs.

Accounting in businesses usually only takes into consideration direct costs and benefits. But in economics, you have to take into consideration also social costs and benefits.

What is a public good? A public good is a good in which no private producer would want to produce because the costs outweigh the the price that the consumers are willing to pay: i.e. they are non profitable. But these goods are necessary because they generate social benefits. Examples of private goods are Education, State Defense, etc.. The state must control the production of these goods and must impose discriminatory production for the goods to be continually produce. Otherwise, no one will produce them. The cost in the long run will kill the industry. This is what is meant by it "crumbling".

Production of public goods cannot be left on the power of the public to decide upon.
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30 / M
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Posted 1/7/08

Apothem wrote:


projectcedric wrote:


Apothem wrote:

Think of it as all the schools being their own separate business.


Which is actually the main reason why it is bad. This is one of the main principal faults of capitalism/free market economy: the profit motivation usually ignores Social costs and benefits.

Education is one of the public goods. Its hard to explain without going through a very lengthy economics explanation, but to put it simply, its one of those things that don't make sense when cost and revenue are concerned because the product in question, Education, is not something that you can easily put a monetary value on. Social costs and benefits are almost impossible to appraise.

There are so many other factors such as geographical location, urban conditions and social benefits that affect the value of one school and if you give the public power to take control over the "production of education", it will result in underproduction of social goods.


I still do not see how the public will drive the "production of education" into the ground. Your still not clear on this or I still do not understand wha t you are saying. And yes you can put monetary value on education. Why not? Look how the Private Schools battle it out.

Edit: Sorry for the Double Post.



You cannot put a monetary value on education because most of its benefits are third-degree based. When pay for your school fees, the cost only consider things such as Utility Bills of the school, costs of running the school, how much they are paying the teachers, etc... What you pay for is the service of being taught. But the tremendous effect of education to the society cannot be put a monetary value on.

If the social benefits of education is taken into consideration, the overall benefits should be more than the cost (cost minus benefits), we say that therefore that this good is "over priced" and the actual price should be lower. But the private producers will no longer be willing to produce such goods if the price is lowered because if they do, it will be at a loss. In the short run, a loss can still be sustainable if we are talking large scale and scale of economies help in the long run. But a loss in the long run will cause the industry to crumble.
954 cr points
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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/7/08

projectcedric wrote:
Hmm.. this is gonna be quite hard but I'll try to explain.

Usually, in Economics, the value of a product is price, right? Which is based on currency and inflation and other stuffs. Price is determined by demand in supply (where they meet). Demand, of course, is the demand of consumers, and these consumers are willing to pay a certain price for their goods depending on how much they want or need those goods collectively. Supply is set by the producers. The producers will take into consideration costs of production. These costs of production are things like how much resources were used, how much raw material, how much labor, etc... things that have monetary value.

When the transaction is completed, the benefits to the consumer and the cost to the producer are the direct costs and benefits. Social costs and benefits are effects of the transaction to third party people. For example, if I buy a car, I pay only for the benefit for me and the cost of the producer. But the car may have negative effects onto the surroundings such as pollution, noise, traffic, etc... things that you cannot put a monetary value on. Those are social costs.

Accounting in businesses usually only takes into consideration direct costs and benefits. But in economics, you have to take into consideration also social costs and benefits.

What is a public good? A public good is a good in which no private producer would want to produce because the costs outweigh the the price that the consumers are willing to pay: i.e. they are non profitable. But these goods are necessary because they generate social benefits. Examples of private goods are Education, State Defense, etc.. The state must control the production of these goods and must impose discriminatory production for the goods to be continually produce. Otherwise, no one will produce them. The cost in the long run will kill the industry. This is what is meant by it "crumbling".

Production of public goods cannot be left on the power of the public to decide upon.


I get the whole supply and demand thing. As for everything else, thanks for the explanation! I should know this stuff...I took basic economics in high school <_<

So you are saying that you are worried that there would not be enough Schools(supply) to meet the demand of the people?

Also, Education can be a Service unlike a Public Good. Just like plumbers, TV repairmen, Bodygaurds, and other types of services can be viewed as Public Goods. So why can't education be viewed as a Service and work like a Service? The costs would not outweigh the benefits. How would they? The average cost for a student per year in public school is the is a little under the cost it takes to pay for a student in Private School. You subtract all the Administrative bodies that currently drain the money from the Education spending per year and add it evenly to all the children, it will out pay what any child is pays per year for a private school.

What will the social costs be? Lack of support for the poor? Racial indifferences would be made? I will admit, this would be the one of the the things the state would be preventing and controlling when the voucher system is put into place. Just like how collages are being watched over this. Plus it would bring bad publicity to any school that would try to do any such thing as the public will shun them from existence. With a bad rep the school will eventually go out of business if they don't fix it.

Did I miss anything?
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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/7/08

projectcedric wrote:


Apothem wrote:


projectcedric wrote:


Apothem wrote:

Think of it as all the schools being their own separate business.


Which is actually the main reason why it is bad. This is one of the main principal faults of capitalism/free market economy: the profit motivation usually ignores Social costs and benefits.

Education is one of the public goods. Its hard to explain without going through a very lengthy economics explanation, but to put it simply, its one of those things that don't make sense when cost and revenue are concerned because the product in question, Education, is not something that you can easily put a monetary value on. Social costs and benefits are almost impossible to appraise.

There are so many other factors such as geographical location, urban conditions and social benefits that affect the value of one school and if you give the public power to take control over the "production of education", it will result in underproduction of social goods.


I still do not see how the public will drive the "production of education" into the ground. Your still not clear on this or I still do not understand wha t you are saying. And yes you can put monetary value on education. Why not? Look how the Private Schools battle it out.

Edit: Sorry for the Double Post.



You cannot put a monetary value on education because most of its benefits are third-degree based. When pay for your school fees, the cost only consider things such as Utility Bills of the school, costs of running the school, how much they are paying the teachers, etc... What you pay for is the service of being taught. But the tremendous effect of education to the society cannot be put a monetary value on.

If the social benefits of education is taken into consideration, the overall benefits should be more than the cost (cost minus benefits), we say that therefore that this good is "over priced" and the actual price should be lower. But the private producers will no longer be willing to produce such goods if the price is lowered because if they do, it will be at a loss. In the short run, a loss can still be sustainable if we are talking large scale and scale of economies help in the long run. But a loss in the long run will cause the industry to crumble.


In response to the first paragraph, all of that is already supplied and accounted for in each voucher. You also have to consider after all the administrative bodies from school districts(each being paid 80,000+ dollars a year minimum) and state bureaucrats no longer become part of the voucher system, it adds a HUGE bonus to the overall price per voucher as you no longer have to pay for them. Thus giving them more monetary value? If I'm using the word correctly. :P

In response to your second paragraph....what? o_0 How would the social benefits be more than the cost? Can you explain that? Sorry for not understanding what you mean. It's best to give an example. But if your too lazy to give one, I understand.

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30 / M
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Posted 1/7/08

Apothem wrote:





So you are saying that you are worried that there would not be enough Schools(supply) to meet the demand of the people?

Also, Education can be a Service unlike a Public Good. Just like plumbers, TV repairmen, Bodygaurds, and other types of services can be viewed as Public Goods. So why can't education be viewed as a Service and work like a Service? The costs would not outweigh the benefits. How would they? The average cost for a student per year in public school is the is a little under the cost it takes to pay for a student in Private School. You subtract all the Administrative bodies that currently drain the money from the Education spending per year and add it evenly to all the children, it will out pay what any child is pays per year for a private school.

What will the social costs be? Lack of support for the poor? Racial indifferences would be made? I will admit, this would be the one of the the things the state would be preventing and controlling when the voucher system is put into place. Just like how collages are being watched over this. Plus it would bring bad publicity to any school that would try to do any such thing as the public will shun them from existence. With a bad rep the school will eventually go out of business if they don't fix it.

Did I miss anything?


Actually, the Education industry is a service industry. The only problem is that the production, Education, affects society in a very strong degree. The social benefits it generates negates almost all costs. When you compare prices of services depending of labor and running costs and stuffs like administrative costs, that is still within the accounting field. You're still not taking in social costs and benefits as considerations.

You are partly right in the second paragraph. One of the social cost is non-even distribution of education. There might be places where the "unsound schools" will be abolished and we could think of the possibility that they can always transcend geographical distances to go into the newly expanded "good schools", but not everyone has the resources to do so.

The schools and the state actually do not make any profit. The people don't pay any cent, right? Because no one will be willing to. What the state is trying to do is give the public a power in the diversion of resources. Which sometimes may not be a very good thing. But nonetheless, they're still using money from taxation and other stuffs to help fund those schools. Otherwise, the education industry will not survive. This is reality in every country.

What will happen to those small public schools in underdeveloped places that run on state funds? The system will mean the abolishment of those schools since obviously they will never be able to meet the standards of better schools. But the people have no resources to go to the better schools.
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30 / M
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Posted 1/7/08

Apothem wrote:



In response to the first paragraph, all of that is already supplied and accounted for in each voucher. You also have to consider after all the administrative bodies from school districts(each being paid 80,000+ dollars a year minimum) and state bureaucrats no longer become part of the voucher system, it adds a HUGE bonus to the overall price per voucher as you no longer have to pay for them. Thus giving them more monetary value? If I'm using the word correctly. :P


Well the problem with social costs and benefits is that there is no way to appraise them. In other words, there's no way you can tell how much they are actually valued. You may say there is 80,000 dollar extra but you don't really know if that's too much, too little, or just enough. There is no way of arriving at a value that would correctly..um.. valuate a certain social cost or benefit.


Apothem wrote:
In response to your second paragraph....what? o_0 How would the social benefits be more than the cost? Can you explain that? Sorry for not understanding what you mean. It's best to give an example. But if your too lazy to give one, I understand.



Okay.. there are direct costs and benefits right, determined by costs of production/labour/service and satisfaction to the students. They pretty much cancel each other out when monetary price is determined.

Then there are social costs and benefits. If there are more social costs than benefits, like in Education.. doesn't really cause pollution, or stress, or turmoil, but instead it helps in the literacy of the public and [insert what other good things about education that you can think of here], then the overall benefit is already more than the cost.

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28 / M / San Diego, CA.
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Posted 1/7/08

projectcedric wrote:


Apothem wrote:





So you are saying that you are worried that there would not be enough Schools(supply) to meet the demand of the people?

Also, Education can be a Service unlike a Public Good. Just like plumbers, TV repairmen, Bodygaurds, and other types of services can be viewed as Public Goods. So why can't education be viewed as a Service and work like a Service? The costs would not outweigh the benefits. How would they? The average cost for a student per year in public school is the is a little under the cost it takes to pay for a student in Private School. You subtract all the Administrative bodies that currently drain the money from the Education spending per year and add it evenly to all the children, it will out pay what any child is pays per year for a private school.

What will the social costs be? Lack of support for the poor? Racial indifferences would be made? I will admit, this would be the one of the the things the state would be preventing and controlling when the voucher system is put into place. Just like how collages are being watched over this. Plus it would bring bad publicity to any school that would try to do any such thing as the public will shun them from existence. With a bad rep the school will eventually go out of business if they don't fix it.

Did I miss anything?


Actually, the Education industry is a service industry. The only problem is that the production, Education, affects society in a very strong degree. The social benefits it generates negates almost all costs. When you compare prices of services depending of labor and running costs and stuffs like administrative costs, that is still within the accounting field. You're still not taking in social costs and benefits as considerations.

You are partly right in the second paragraph. One of the social cost is non-even distribution of education. There might be places where the "unsound schools" will be abolished and we could think of the possibility that they can always transcend geographical distances to go into the newly expanded "good schools", but not everyone has the resources to do so.

The schools and the state actually do not make any profit. The people don't pay any cent, right? Because no one will be willing to. What the state is trying to do is give the public a power in the diversion of resources. Which sometimes may not be a very good thing. But nonetheless, they're still using money from taxation and other stuffs to help fund those schools. Otherwise, the education industry will not survive. This is reality in every country.

What will happen to those small public schools in underdeveloped places that run on state funds? The system will mean the abolishment of those schools since obviously they will never be able to meet the standards of better schools. But the people have no resources to go to the better schools.


Transportation would be a problem? Yes that is true. More than likely the "good schools" would come from more upper class areas. But if those schools see that theres a huge cash cow of kids from the poor part of town, that would be more than enough incentive to get a bus out there to get them. But then this would drive up costs would it now? Yes it would. But if would take into fact that if they spread the cost between all those kids for one bus. It would be very minimal.
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30 / M
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Posted 1/7/08

Apothem wrote:


Transportation would be a problem? Yes that is true. More than likely the "good schools" would come from more upper class areas. But if those schools see that theres a huge cash cow of kids from the poor part of town, that would be more than enough incentive to get a bus out there to get them. But then this would drive up costs would it now? Yes it would. But if would take into fact that if they spread the cost between all those kids for one bus. It would be very minimal.


And then the main concern here now is that we don't make it complicated as much as possible. Even if we take your suggestion at this particular situation, it becomes discriminatory. We are raised with questions such as: Why do the poor kids need to travel daily at the cost of convenience of the rich kids? Will that in itself affect their performance and therefore, education? What happens when you mix fast learners and slow learners together in the same school? Who will cater for the transportation? Will that mean that the transportation industry will grow at the cost of something else? Can the producers meet up the demands for the transport service? Will it add to the over pollution and traffic congestion?

Those are all social costs in themselves that must be taken into consideration. And now the state becomes no longer just concerned with the economics of education, but a lot more other things as well. That's why its always a prerogative to take the simplest route possible, all things made equal.
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