AFP-New Mexico Holds First Annual Milton Friedman Essay Competition
Winner shares story of benefiting from competition in education.SANTA FE — Americans for Prosperity, New Mexico announced the winner of its first annual Milton Friedman Essay Competition on the celebration of the birthday of nationally renowned economist Milton Friedman. The winner of the first award is Miss Emma Larabee, home schooled student from Dona Ana, New Mexico. Please read the essay after this release.
Dr. Friedman was, during his lifetime the most easily understandable voice of economic reason that our nation has known. He put reason, logic and humor into basic principles that made people laugh, and made people think. July 31st would have been Dr. Friedman’s 101st birthday. His legacy is being kept alive by efforts of the Milton Friedman Foundation, which sponsored numerous events all over the world reminding people of the wisdom Dr. Friedman left us with.
Some of his lines are well recognized:
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither.”
“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
And there are so many more.
Students in NM were invited to write an essay on their perspective on school choice, using some of Dr. Friedman’s material as their resources and references. Americans for Prosperity-NM is proud to be sharing these issues and principles of economic freedom with New Mexico’s youth and look forward to many more projects in the future.
And Now, The Essay!
Why School Choice is Beneficial for Students
School choice is beneficial for students because they can choose the school they attend based on the quality of the education provided by the school, not on their economic standing. It also provides for skill and interest based education, and the voucher system provides competition between the schools. Milton Friedman said, “Improved education is offering a hope of narrowing the gap between the less and more skilled workers, of fending off the prior prospect of a society divided between the “haves” and “have nots,” of a class society in which an educated elite provided welfare for a permanent class of unemployables.” (“The School Choice Advocate,” July 1998)
School choice allows every student the opportunity to receive a good education regardless of their economic place in society. School districts are based on income and home address. Typically higher income school districts have nicer, fancier facilities, while lower income school districts have poorer facilities. It doesn’t seem fair that students from poor families have to go to schools with lesser quality of education, while students from higher income families can attend nicer schools with better quality education. Students who do not receive a high quality education will have less of an opportunity to get into college.
School choice provides opportunities for students to attend schools that focus on their interests and life goals. Magnet schools provide focused education on specific subjects (i.e. science, math, etc.) Private schools allow students to center their education around their religious beliefs or values.
Through the voucher system, parents can choose the school that will best meet their child’s needs. Milton Friedman said it best, when he said, “Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else.” (“Free to Choose: A Personal Statement,” 1979/1980) The voucher system makes schools compete against each other to provide the best education. Friedman also said, “A far better alternative to political control is to introduce competition in schooling, to give parents a real choice.” (Newsweek, 1968) “The injection of competition would do much to promote a healthy variety of schools.” (“Capitalism and Freedom,” 1962)
School choice provides equal opportunity education, allows students to focus on their interests and life goals, and the voucher system creates healthy competition between schools, providing better quality education all around.
By Emma Larabee
Shown Above Pam Wolfe AFP New Mexico and Emma Larabee