"Sec. 1. SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools."
Texas Constitution; Article 7, Section 1. (Emphasis added)
The SBOE textbook debate got us thinking about the Texas Constitutional Education mandate quoted above; what an asinine way to make public policy.
Nothing "free" is ever "efficient;" that's economics 101.
In Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (1981), Milton Friedman wrote:
A simple classification of spending shows why that process leads to undesirable results. When you spend, you may spend your own money or someone else's; and you may spend for the benefit of yourself or someone else....Category IV refers to your spending someone else's money on yet another person. You are paying for someone else's lunch out of an expense account. You have little incentive either to economize or to try to get your guest the lunch that he will value most highly....The bureaucrats spend someone else's money on someone else. Only human kindness, not the much stronger and more dependable spur of self interest, assures that they will spend the money in the was most beneficial to the recipients. Hence the wastefulness and ineffectiveness of the spending. (116-7)Conflicting, contradictory mandates from the Texas constitution are a root cause of many problems in Texas government schools; its half-witted.