P16.6 Privatization. In Massachusetts, a state education law authorized the establishment of up to 25 so-called charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that receive state funding as well as some measure of autonomy from local school boards and the rules that govern conventional schools. As a result, students and educators in Boston face the ready prospect of classrooms with politicians as lecturers, academic instruction aided by yoga, school doors open from dawn to dusk, and public schools run on a for-profit basis.
Charter schools already are operating in Minnesota and California, and five other states promise to join the trend with recently enacted charter-school legislation. Advocates of such schools argue that they provide badly needed competition for existing public schools. Under the charter-school concept, anyone with a good education idea gets access to government funding, so long as they can attract and effectively train students.
A. Explain how breaking the public-school monopoly on access to public funding could help improve the quality of public- and private-school primary education.
B. Explain why primary-school privatization might not create such benefits.