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Public Education Should Be Viewed as a Business

by Ron Kurtus (revised 12 January 2003)

In a private school, education is a business where parents directly pay the school to have their educated according to certain standards. On the other hand, in public schools the parents do not directly pay for to have their children educated and often do not any say-so concerning the quality of education.

Both private and public education should be considered businesses, where the parents get their money's worth in the education of their children.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Private schools

In a private school, the parents are paying customers and the school is providing the service of educating the children according to the expectations of the parents. If the child does not receive the training, discipline and education that the parent feels is desirable or necessary, the parent can withdraw the student from the school and enroll him or her elsewhere.

Certainly, if enough parents are not satisfied with the job the school is doing, they can lose enrollment and perhaps go out of business.

Public schools

In public schools, taxpayers pay part of their taxes for the education of the community's children, according to the standards set by elected and appointed officials. Funding for the schools comes from government officials, and school administrators must respond to the desires of those officials.

If a child is not getting a satisfactory education, the parents usually have little recourse, unless they can afford to send the child to a private school. In fact, the child often gets blamed for not learning, as opposed to not being properly taught.

If a school seems to do an extremely poor job in educating the children, voters or the school board may seek changes or improvements.

In the defense of public schools, there are often many parents who do not show much interest in the quality of education of their children.

Education business

Since the funding for public schools comes from the government and not the stakeholders, it is very difficult to run those schools as businesses.

Some school districts allow competition between schools for students. Thus, a school that does not do a good job will not get the enrollment or the funding. Unfortunately, that means the schools in the better neighborhoods will get more students than those in the poor neighborhoods or areas where parents don't seem to care.

Yet, it is important that the school treat the parents as customers and respond to their desires instead of regarding them as meddlers. Even public schools must be run as businesses that try to satisfy their customers and make sure children get a good education.

Summary

Private schools respond to parents as paying customers, while public schools often disregard the concerns of parents almost until there is a revolution. Although it is difficult to do because the way public schools are funded, they should still be run as businesses and consider the desires of the parents as important.


Satisfy your customers and your students


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