Sunday 5 October 2003

More on vouchers

The Scotsman has really got the voucher bug this week with Alex Massie following up previous articles and Saturday's editorial also covering the topic.

According to the editorial:

The arguments against vouchers are twofold. First, it would benefit middle-class families who have the knowledge and mobility to use them to access the best schools geographically. Second, that stripping a failing local school of pupils and resources only makes matters worse for the children left behind in it.
These two objections are satisfactorily disposed of but I was rather surprised that the editorial didn't discuss the primary argument that has been raised against education vouchers by free market advocates in the USA. What concerns American libertarians is this: Will it not be only a matter of time before the state increases regulation of private schools that accept education vouchers thus reducing the freedom and attraction of such institutions? He who pays the piper calls the tune. This is, I believe, a real danger although I expect that British private schools are already subject to considerably greater government oversight than those in the US. Nevertheless, I do believe that a pilot voucher scheme should be tried in Scotland as the initial step towards breaking the stultifying control of our schools by members of the predator class.