If a store sells inferior products or a business gives bad service, most customers will not come back and that store or business will eventually go bankrupt. If public schools sell bad education, year after year, why don’t they go bankrupt? Why aren’t they shut down?
The answer is government compulsion. In private schools, if the school does a bad job educating children, parents will soon take their child out of that school. If enough parents take their kids out of the school, that school will go bankrupt. A private school depends on the voluntary consent and tuition payments of its parent-customers to stay in business.
Unlike private schools, public schools are a government-controlled education system that stays in business through naked compulsion. Local governments pass laws that give school authorities near-monopoly powers over our children’s education. Compulsory-attendance laws force children to go to these schools. School taxes force parents to pay for these schools. Unlike private schools, public schools rarely go out of business, no matter how bad they are, because they get their "customers" and their money by force.
Compulsion rears its ugly head in our public schools in many other ways. State teacher licensing laws prevent excellent but unlicensed educators or outside experts from teaching in the schools. Tenure laws make it almost impossible for school boards to fire incompetent or even mediocre teachers or principals.
Local governments force children to go to public schools for six to eight hours a day, five days a week for up to twelve years, even though these children might hate public school. School authorities force children to study subjects that school authorities dictate, even though children might find these subjects boring or meaningless. Public schools also force parents to accept teachers that parents might not like or think are competent.
Many public schools force children to learn math and reading with teaching methods that can cripple children’s math and reading abilities. Public schools often subject children to values or sex-education classes that parents object to. The list goes on and on.
Like tax-supported prisons, public schools don’t shut down because the whole system rests on a foundation of naked force. Take away compulsory-attendance laws and compulsory school taxes and it’s highly likely that most public schools would "go out of business."