We just returned from the Texas Public Policy Foundation's luncheon The Urgency for School Choice in Texas. We'll post video from the event when it becomes available. In the meantime, one topic covered by former Congressman Artur Davis stuck with us.
Former Congressman Davis discussed a school choice initiative that failed in Michigan in 2010, despite Republican wins across the state. The initiative lost because it underperformed among conservative suburban voters. The reason these folks voted against school choice was because they perceived it as a redistributive program that would benefit someone else.
That perception is incorrect for two reasons:
- K-12 education is 40% of Texas' state budget. When you increase competition in education, you lower costs. Lowering the cost of education in this state will make it much easier to balance the budget.
- The education other people's kids receive impacts all of us. When other people's kids don't get a good education, it impacts you when you can't find competent service in a store or qualified employees. Even worse, America's dumbed down education system clearly played a role in Obama's re-election.
Update: Williamson County Conservative has a great synopsis of the whole day.