School Privatization
Our society, as a whole, has been heading toward a decentralized system of
conducting its affairs. Large corporations have been getting larger , meanwhile
governments have been giving up increasing amounts of their control. This
decentralization has affected even former mainstays of government control, such
as phone and power companies. As decentralization becomes more of a reality,
there has been a great deal of debate over what controls the government should
maintain or relinquish. The public school system has long been a source of
frustration. Many feel the schools would be run more efficiently and with better
results if privately run companies were to take over. They feel that with the
existing large, encumbering bureaucracy, the government is simply unable to
provide the proper base that is necessary to support a successful school system.

The proponents of privatized school systems have long maintained that
governments are not as knowledgeable about individual school environments as
those who and they have to manage many schools, whereas the owners of a specific
private subsidized school would be well informed about the school\'s
circumstances and can concentrate on that school alone. They say that the
governments role should become that of regulator, not schoolmaster, and that
since the private schools do not face the political constraints that the
municipal governments face,they would be more able to adapt to change. Since the
operation of public schools is more bureaucratic and centralized than private
subsidized schools, it is expected to inhibit rather than promote educational
innovation. Private schools, being less bureaucratic and more decentralized, are
expected to be more efficient organizations and to have a better perspective
than their public school counterparts. They are also expected to provide a
greater incentive and opportunity to come up with more innovative programs than
public schools in order to stay competitive. Bureaucracy is expected to hinder
initiative and efficiency, whereas the private sector in general is expected to
be more dynamic and responsive because of their need to stay competitive. It is
hoped that this competitiveness will foster innovation. On the other side of the
debate is the group that favors continued government control over the school
system. They argue that privatizing the schools would lead to a decreased focus
on the needs of the children with an increased emphasis placed on the bottom
line. They maintain that the companies taking over for the government would
focus their attention more on cutting corners to make larger profits rather than
on the education of children. With continued government control over the school
system, there will remain a stability that is necessary to insure a full and
equal educational opportunity for all. Having the education system privatized
would create inequalities in the method that education would be provided. Those
who oppose privatization agree that not only would municipal control maintain
stability, but would also ensure fair and equal teatment for all. The same would
not hold true if the schools were placed in private hands. Schools that do not
make a profit along with teachers that are no longer needed would simply let go
in order to save money or maintain profits. I can see that there are several
benefits on both sides. The economic benefits are obviously in favor of a
decentralized school structure. There be no bureaucracy to wade through to make
the simplest decisions, in the system would allow teachers to make important
ground level decisions as they see fit. This increased efficiency includes many
benefits, but with what cost? What about the special needs children, or the
under privileged, will the private companies take care of them? What happens
when these companies don\'t make enough money on a school, will they close it
down? The children whose schools have been closed will have to travel further
and further just to get to school, if they even go. Maybe there should just be
mega-schools were ten schools are combined into one, all to save the managing
company money. With government control, there may not be efficiency but there is
some stability. That is the important thing. Companies can open and close their
doors in a day, but schools are more important than companies. Education is the
key to our futures, can we afford to gamble with what is a stake? The government
must become more efficient at doing its job in managing our schools, and
business has proven itself to be efficient. Maybe there is a way to combine the
two and receive the best of both worlds.