ERIC Number: ED372465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Beyond Vouchers: Promoting Efficiency in Education.
Jones, Thomas H.
In the past two decades choice has become a major policy proposal for promoting efficiency in schooling. This paper argues that it would be both efficient and feasible to remove government from its present roles in school finance and pupil assignment. The first part examines the revenue side of school finance and identifies four types of efficiency--technical, price, exchange, and allocative (McMahon, 1982). A conclusion is that educational vouchers fall short of meeting these types of efficiency, partly because they rely on government finance. An alternative system of school choice that relies on private finance is proposed: each family contracts with a school to provide education in exchange for a share of the student's income earned over her or his lifetime or other extended time period. This acts as a tuition deferment and gives investors in students' education an equity stake in students' future earning power. Schools will enroll students at lower costs to attract higher enrollments and compete on the basis of effective programs and choice. Because the plan is based on free-market principles, it is not appropriate for the proportion of the population that is incapable of earning a wage. Schools would enroll only those students whom they could educate at a profit. Finally, it is argued that people make better choices if they are paying for something than if government taxes gave it to them. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).