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July 12th, 2010 12:39 pm
Britain’s Coalition Government Using Vouchers to Privatize Public Education

Of the 18 bills proposed by Britain’s Coalition Government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats none may be as immediately consequential as the Academies Bill.  Filed in May just days after the Coalition took power, the Academies Bill allows any public school rated as “outstanding” by the central government to be approved automatically for privatization.  The stated goal is to move authority for running the school from local bureaucrats to private individuals; be they groups of parents, charities, or religious institutions.

The schools are allowed to use whatever methods necessary to meet the national testing requirements, but they can only charge the amount of the voucher each student gets from the central government.  If the school can deliver the desired results for less than the voucher, they get to keep the money left over.  Oh, by the way; this nationwide program starts this September.

The Coalition’s motivation for this and other decentralizing initiatives results from two realities: cutting spending to reduce the deficit, and giving more power to everyday citizens.

As conservative presidential contenders start to ramp-up their 2012 campaigns, I hope they are paying close attention to these striking policy developments.  The economic crisis coupled with the incompetency of our own overgrown governments may be just the combination necessary to mark a new birth of freedom in America.

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