Betsy DeVos, speaking at the Brookings Institution, said that we must think about funding individual children, not institutions or buildings in order to serve the greater public good. That logic would suggest that each citizen should be provided a tax voucher to purchase personal security while police departments and other safety forces are being dismantled. Why not abandon the Brookings Institution and provide some kind of voucher to allow Brookings employees to be paid to freelance their services?
DeVos’ answer to every question is “more choice” outside the real public system at taxpayer’s expense. Her view of public common good seems jaded by her anti-public school craze for choice. It appears she does not understand that each state has a constitutional provision requiring public education as an institution. It is through the institution of the public common school that the public common good is nurtured.
People organize states and nations for the common good. Tax funds are collected for public goods and services, e.g. roads, public safety, national security, education, etc. The public funds do not belong to individual citizens as an incentive to select private choices. Public institutions provide for current and future citizens. Individual choices relate to the here and now-not to future long-term benefits to society.
Government must not be the servant of special interests. The very idea of a commonwealth-the people collectively-is antithetical to the use of public funds for private purposes.
Even non-government groups, such as parent-teacher organizations, come together to promote common purposes. Local PTAs or PTOs raise funds for agreed upon projects. They don’t assign the funds to individual members for each to promote a project of their choice.
There are those who believe that a few unelected leaders should determine what constitutes the public good for all other citizens. Possibly, that philosophy is embraced by DeVos.
DeVos and those of her ilk are absolutely wrong that school choice promotes the public common good. It is time for all citizens to become engaged in ensuring public resources are used exclusively for the common good.