Ron Price, Rockingham School Board

I am an AT LARGE MEMBER of the Rockingham County Board of Education.

Location: Reidsville, North Carolina

AT LARGE Member Rockingham County Board of Education. Dedicated to serving the students and citizens of Rockingham County. See also Facebook page "Ron Price for Education"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Competition in Education

Competition is decidedly American and is at the core of what has made America great. Our free enterprise system is built on competition and it promotes suppliers providing the best product at the best price. I support competition in the education market and in particular for grades K through 12. The goal of our schools is to provide the best education for our students and competition provides healthy free market dynamics, which are beneficial to the quality of the education.

There are those who want the education system to be a monopoly with no competition but that leads to poor performance and is an affront to individual liberty as granted by the nations founders. In the Rockingham County Schools we have competition between schools in our district and with other districts both in academics and sports. We also have competition with charter schools, private schools, Christian schools and home schools. The benefit of that competition is that the students and parents have a choice in the education that best meets their desires and needs.

Since the time when many of the Judeo-Christian values were taken out of the public school system parents have sought alternatives to the traditional public school education. In the public schools religious education and religious views are
often suppressed and/or inhibited by outside interests for both teachers and students. The public wants options to education where alternatives to public schools are available in order to provide additional services for students with special needs. I have been contacted about situations where our district school policies and procedures prohibit providing unique solutions to the specific need of the parent or student. As an example in several instances the charter school was better able to meet the requirements of the parents and the students than what the traditional public school was able to provide. Alternative schools provide options to parents where the public school curriculum has conflicts with the moral and religious values they seek for their children's education. 

Some feel that educating students in a venue other than the traditional public school system is taking away employment opportunities for teachers. This is certainly not the case as the alternative schools all require teachers and they also provide an alternative employment opportunity for teachers, thereby actually increasing employment opportunities for teachers. I do not know of a single teacher in Rockingham County who is afraid of competition, as they are well qualified and able to compete with the best in the free market.

I support choice for parents through financial credits, which allow the parents to choose the best education for their children. Who should deny parents the freedom to choose the best education for their children? After all our goal is to provide the best education for all our students and if that means alternatives to public schools, then parents should have the opportunity to choose the education that best meets their needs. A parent who wants an education for their child based on their values should not be forced to pay taxes for public education and then pay double by having to pay for a second enrollment into the school of their choice.