Privatize Arizona’s Public Schools

Arizona Strong!  John Lyon for Arizona State Senate

It costs about twice as much to educate a student in an Arizona public school as it would cost to pay the child’s tuition at a private school.  For the sakes of taxpayers and students, it is time to turn public education over to the private sector.

Whether in public, private, or charter schools, there is no point to having fine schools with highly qualified teachers, and then allowing young gangsters to disrupt the educational process so badly that good students and staff are driven away.  Taxpayer subsidized attendance at the nicest schools should be contingent on satisfactory academic performance and good citizenship.  Poorly behaved students should attend bare-bones schools specializing in structure and discipline.

After the sixth grade, uncooperative students should be given paid work opportunities in lieu of classwork.  A few weeks of hammering shingles into roofs, laying carpet, trimming yards, etc., may motivate some to come back to the classroom.  All will gain valuable, real-world, work experience.  They will also no longer be in a position where they can undermine the learning experiences of well-behaved, motivated learners.

In 2013, over 20,000 children were home-schooled in Arizona, up from under 1,000 in 1989.  In part, this may be because of many parents’ worries over poor academic standards, the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, exposure to alcohol and other drugs, or recruitment into criminal street gangs among students in public schools.  In order better to serve the public, all those problem areas must be addressed.  The private sector may be better able to accomplish that then our current system.

paid for by John Lyon for Arizona State Senate


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