Government provided or subsidized education ultimately leads to increases in costs, declines in quality and/or rationing of services. This will occur whether the payment is through massive public school systems or vouchers.
There are ample examples of this process. For example, college education in the United States has massive costs because government will subsidize whatever is necessary to educate students. What is essentially a voucher has driven costs up while producing a product whose quality is static at best. In essence, there is a massive and non-productive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to university staffs.
Nonetheless, there is a need for universal education. A student shouldn’t be deprived of their opportunity for education just because their parents are poor or they live in a bad neighborhood. We should not deny them an opportunity to fulfill their potential.
The solution is Private Education Accounts. These accounts would fund 90% of median education costs in the individual’s area. The funds could be spent on any accredited educational organization – including tutoring programs. If more is spent, the parents or others must make up the difference. If less is spent (for example because the parents home school), and the student fails state-mandated achievement tests, then the funds remain available for the following year. However, if the student passes state-mandated achievement tests, then half of the remaining funds would be released to the parents while the other half would be stored in trust and released once the student reaches college age.
This simple system uses the profit motive is used to both drive down costs and increase quality while building in safeguards to protect against the exploitation of children.