Government’s effective monopolization of the school system has resulted in Arizona’s children receiving poor education. Budgets are spiraling out of control, parents have little to no control over the education of their children and teachers are paying for school supplies out of their own pockets.
Lower and middle income Arizonans are effectively denied freedom of choice in education because they are taxed to support the government schools and cannot afford to pay twice for the same service. Like any coercive monopoly without any real competition, the government schools therefore produce an inferior product at an exorbitant price.
A Free Market approach can provide education services like any other service, and can do so with better results at lower cost and deal more effectively with the diversity of education related needs. Parents must be allowed to have complete control over, while being held completely responsible for, their children’s education.
All education should remain entirely within the private sector. Indeed there are students of limited financial means, but the remedies can and will come from private sector programs such as scholarships and private aid.
We oppose the tax support of universities, colleges, and junior colleges, which forces lower income taxpayers to fund the higher education of children of upper income families. All tax support of such institutions should cease, and the role of higher education should be returned to the private sector.
The bitter disputes over curriculum and teaching methods are the inevitable result of the existence of a coercive government monopoly on education. Just as centuries of religious warfare in Europe were ended by separating church and state, the solution to fights over schools is to privatize education and separate school and state. Decisions about issues such as prayer, sex education, evolution, etc. will no longer cause conflict when supporters of all views have a real choice of schools.
As an interim measure to restore choices to parents and students and to encourage development of private alternatives, we support the continuation and the expansion of existing tax credits for tuition and other expenditures related to education. This is fiscally wise for the state, since the cost of the tax credits is substantially less than the savings resulting from taking children out of the public school system.
We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit. We oppose denial of tax-exempt status to schools because of their private policies on admissions, hiring, or student deportment.