The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
14 Points

Defunding all public schools and encourgaging private school growth would better U.S. education.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 825 times Debate No: 55458
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




I would like the argue how the theory of replacing the current public education system for a private education system under a libertarian climate, would be a better option than fixing the education system we currently have.

I intend to win this debate using only logic, historical events, and personal observations. Sources are welcome but not necessary as this is only a theory and therefore proof would be on having the better logical argument.


Well, interesting debate topic. I'm going to assume first round is acceptance, since my opponent used first round for opening clarifications.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for joining the debate. I apologize for not making clear the rounds and rules. I'm still new to this site so I'm learning along the way. I suppose I'll get this party started then.

Well we've all heard the vast and numerous complaints regarding our current education system. The class sizes are to crowded, there is not enough funding, the teachers aren't paid enough, the curriculum is outdated, the list goes on and on and on. I once learned the formulate for x-y=z where z is the square route of 2. But what it meant, and what I'll ever use it for is completely irrelevant. Parents today have only three choices, send your child to school you don't like but are "zoned" to go to, move so that your child can attend a school that isn't much better than the one you were previously forced to send them to, or pay out of pocket even more money to send your child to a government regulated private school that teaches the same useless garbage that is already taught in a public school. Bottom line is that our current system is broken. And instead of creating a better program that would work for us, we keep throwing money at a consistently broken system in the hopes that it will soon work. It's like spending 100k trying to fix up an old beater from the 60's instead of investing 24k into a bran new car that would work just fine.

I argue that there is a better solution. I argue that removing the current education system we currently have would be much better for the country as a whole, and our workforce as we progress. I'm sure there are arguments my opponent will bring to the table this round to counter my theory. But I would like voters to use an open mind when considering my suggestion to the many possibilities this would provide. The possibilities are endless, but to outline a few...

Cost efficiency: Currently our taxes pay for the education system that is in place for our children. Because I have stated that I will be using reason and logic, I will not provide the exact number that is spent or when exactly that money goes, but I instead appeal to the common logic of it all. We currently pay for the department of education. We pay for the suits in D.C., we pay for their staff, we pay for the "test trials" of the curriculum that is passed around from state to state, we pay for commissioners, assistant commissioners, deputies of education, principals, assistant principals, it's no wonder when the pyramid extends that high that there is no more money to squeeze out for qualified teachers. Private companies are experts at providing great services while eliminating waste. Government agencies are experts in the opposite. I believe it is a safe argument that we are currently not getting what we pay for or expect. But we currently don't have any other options. But allowing a free market to determine what quality we seek for our children, and competition to decide how much it should cost, would save money, and increase efficiency.

Options: Currently when we go grocery shopping, we are not told what store we must buy our food from. Nor are we told what type of rice or noodles we must eat. The free market allows competition to determine what is best for the consumer. I argue that a free market education system will provide the best education at the lowest of prices. There will be great expensive schools (yale,harvard, ect). And there will be more affordable schools with each, you can expect to get what you pay for. And to say that every child deserves equal education, leads me to my next point.

Quality: History has proven that not all children are equal or the same. Some children are visual learners. Some hands on. Some children are extremely intelligent, others unfortunately are not. Our current system is struggling to meet the needs of all mainly because it is trying to control it all. This is an impossible task for any one company, organization, or government to complete. A free market would allow the private industry to specialize to what a child most accurately gravitates to. Say your child excels in math and has shown an interest in banking/business. Your child would not be alone and the free market climate would provide specialty schools so a child could focus in the direction that's best for him/her. Or, perhaps a child is not so strong in that department but does enjoy the physical work of being outdoors and building on a trade. There once was a time when trade schools were everywhere. Apprenticeship programs available at all ages. Our current system fails to provide the available options necessary for growth. In a world where options could be limitless, our current government limits itself. The result is selling our youth short at to early an age.

Those are only three pro's but again, the options are limitless. Perhaps more rounds would have been necessary for a fair argument on both sides, but I will leave this round with this. I look forward to my opponents critiques of my assessment as well as any other cons she would see from my theory... I again thank you for accepting this debate.


I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate, and now I'm going to simply rebut his plan.

This plan would further an elitist society and ultimately wouldn't help education.

Definition of elitism: Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite""a select group of people with a certain ancestry, intrinsic quality or worth, higher intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes""are those whose influence or authority is greater than that of others [1].

I'm going to explain why this is true, starting with some statistics.

Currently, public school is "free." By free that means everyone has to pay for it through taxes. My opponent is aware of this fact as well, so there is no need for me to go find that in the tax code or Wikipedia. However, this means in order to go to that school you don't have to pay anything extra. So this is how every person in America can go to school.

The total fertility rate in America is 2.06 [2]. I suppose we can round this down to 2, because it's difficult to measure 0.06 of a child for what I'm going to argue.

The poverty guideline for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia is $23,850 for 4 people in the household. For Alaska it's $29,820, and for Hawaii it's $27,430 [3].

There are plenty of single moms, and since the total fertility rate doesn't necessarily have a monogomous relationship attached to it, I'll provide the poverty guideline for a household of 3. The numbers come out $19,790, $24,740, and $22,760 respectively.

The average cost for private school in the USA is $8,549 [4].

Now, since the average number of kids a mom has is two, let's double that. We end up with $17,098.

For a single mom who's at the poverty guideline in the continental US, that pus her down to about $2,000 just to have her kids go to school. When a dad is in the house, that's only $6,000. This is obviously a problem for impoverished families.

Now, they have to live and buy food, so they have to prioritize. Will they be able to send their kids to school? No, they'll need to feed their family and probably have a house. This means the impoverished won't be able to go to school.

This has two negative aspects.

1) This created a society of elites. The rich go to school and go to college and get a skilled job. The poor do labor. That just reminds me of how society worked back before the French Revolution. Creating a society of elites both exercises a discriminatory mindset, and it ultimately doesn't benefit a nation. I'll explain in the second negative aspect.

2) It won't help education. If we just cut off everyone who isn't rich or upper middle class from education, we lose a lot of people who could be potentially smart. We don't gain anything from this. We just cut off a lot of potentially good scholars.

This is most definitely a problem for education.


Debate Round No. 2


In round two I provided a variety of reasons as to why our current education system was broken. I then provided three examples for why encouraging private schools would prove better than our current education system. It seems my opponent does not disagree with my assessment of our current education system. It also seems that of the many examples I have provided, my opponent used our second round to target only one. The tactic my opponent has used in this debate seems to me to be limited only to one narrow argument. I would like to use my third round to explain in more depth how a private school market would provide more cost efficiency than the current system we are using, as it seems to be my opponents only dispute against my theory.

Free education... I do not believe such a thing has ever existed. I have chosen to not provide sources, as I stated earlier I am attempting to win this argument using logic, reason, and known historical events. But from the very source you have provided, currently in the U.S. we spend 600,000,000,000. We all pay for education every year. Problem is, the education we pay for sucks. I would argue that returning that money to the single fathers, and mothers in our country would be much more effective in allowing them to decide what type of education they want for their child.

Cost of private school I need not argue with your sources evaluation with the current cost of private school. Mainly because I believe it's much more expensive than the estimate you have provided. In most states, even if your children attend a private school, you are still paying for public education through taxation. There are a variety of reasons as to why I believe private schools are expensive, and how they can be more affordable in a private market climate.

1. Regulation: Currently, many of the private schools in our nations are still heavily regulated. Somehow during our nations evolution, people began to believe that our government knows what we need to learn instead of the rapidly evolving market place. Regulation restricts creative adaptation and limits many of the options I have provided earlier. Further, regulation means expensive.

2. Demand: Currently the government has a monopoly on the education system. There is 0 completion. How can you compete? The government forces the money out of your pockets to pay for the product it provides regardless of how you feel about it. Because of this only the wealthy (or very fortunate, money wise, or extremely lucky) can afford private schools. When there is a lack in demand, there will always be a hike in price. However, remove the monopoly and allow competition, schools will spring up everywhere competing with each other to provide quality service for a low cost. Creativity will be everywhere in the attempt to get the edge on the evolving market.

To say that a family cannot afford education is a narrow minded way of thinking. I'll explain why.

Currently in the U.S. it is difficult to afford private schools. There are many reasons for this, and I have just listed only two. But I ask my opponent to imagine a world where freedom of choice and a demand for education exists.

We currently have a deregulated free market for food. There are many problems with our country and government, but no one can say that being able to go to the grocery store for food, instead of a government run food storage station has led to an elitist society. Granted, I cannot afford a steak dinner every night of the week and some certainly could. But I am satisfied that my family does get to eat. And the variety of what I get to choose from is nice as well. Some days I like steaks, some days I can only afford hamburger helper. I have a concern that if the government took my money and forced me to eat what it provided, I'd be eating that with what they serve our soldiers in the military... not bad, but certainly not preferred.

Education is food for the brain. Just like food for our bodies, there will always be a demand for education. And the higher that demand becomes, the more affordable. Some more affordable than others, providing different services, but the market would grow, the educational system would become more diverse and our country in general would greatly improve because of it.

Insanity! We continue to throw six hundred billion dollars, every year into a broken system in hopes that things will improve if we can just agree... all three hundred million of us on the exact direction of where it should go. My plan allows for individual investment into ones child's future. Limitless options, unimaginable possibilities. I leave my opponent to her closing debate. But it is my hope that the voters identify the problems as I have and the improvement my theory could provide. Also to keep in mind at the end of this debate that I'm not arguing what the perfect solution would be, only a better one. I also challenge my opponent to decide for herself what a better solution would be, if not the one I have outlined.

Thank you for a challenging debate, and may the best argument win.


Thank you for this debate, and now I'm going to move down some of the key things in the debate.

First let me clarify something:

I do not have to debate that the current education system is good. I can still debate that it's bad and agree with my opponent that it "sucks." However, scrapping the system and completely privatizing it is not the only possible way to deal with it. Therefore, as long as I disagree with my opponent's way of dealing with the problem, I'm upholding my position.

Regarding my opponent's analogy about food:

This analogy doesn't work for three reasons

1) Food costs money but not as much as private school, and you don't buy all of your food at once for the whole year.

2) My opponent makes an incorrect assumption that the government does not provide food. It actually does.

"SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities" [1].

3) There are standard prices for food in grocery store chains and mass-produced products that everyone can count on for cheap food. The same is not true of private schools. Those are all separate business entities, and assuming that all of them will play by the same rules or that at least a couple will have low prices is irrational.

Concerning demand:

My opponent is only right when it comes to widespread competition. When it comes to the private schools being a student's only choice, they have incentive to raise prices. Since the people have no choice, they either buy the education, or the kid doesn't get educated. It's a business move that we could count on in at least some areas.

Let's go over the biggest issue:

There are a lot of people who would not be able to get a good education because of this. That is my main argument against his plan, and that's why I didn't really address anything else. If we intentionally create a system that we know will be exclusive to low-income families, we are creating a system that hurts education. I've explained this, and my opponent hasn't rebutted it except for the food analogy, which I've also rebutted.

Sure the system has a lot of issues, and we could use some proper reform. This, however, is not reform. It's giving up on all-inclusive education and moving to an education system that would hurt the overall education of American citizens.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago

Con cleverly lessened her burden of proof in this debate by saying that she only needed to show that privatization is a bad idea in order to negate the resolution, rather than support the current school system. One side effect of doing this was that it greatly lessened the effectiveness of Pro's contentions, since they were more like reasons to reform the public school system than reasons to abolish it, and Con's burden of proof did not include showing that the system shouldn't be reformed.

Con gave a strong case revolving around the contention that poor people wouldn't be able to pay for a private education, thus creating an elitist society with a widening wealth disparity.
Pro's only rebuttal to this was that increased demand would allow for prices to drop, giving an analogy about food to support it.
Con effectively refuted the food example by pointing out the obvious flaws in it, and then countered the demand rebuttal by giving a semi-convincing case that an increase in demand in this situation would lead to increased prices rather than decreased ones, due to private schools having a monopoly.

I don't think this counter is valid because private schools aren't a single entity; they are a group of private companies that are competing with each other to get more students. As such, each individual company/school would probably end up lessening prices to attract more students than their competitor schools.
However, Pro never got a chance to respond to this within the debate (which is why I like 4 round debates better), so I cannot factor this into my vote.

Even so, I'm still voting Con, because I don't think Pro gave a strong enough case that prices would decrease substantially enough for the problem of elitism to be taken care of, which means that Con upheld her burden of proof, while Pro did not.

That being said, both of you did an excellent job here, and this debate definitely increases the average quality of debates on this site. Good job!
Posted by Jonbonbon 3 years ago
Well, I'll post it just so I won't plagiarize or anything XD yeah it was a fun debate. I rarely do serious debates, but this time I decided to take one up.
Posted by Renagade 3 years ago
I wouldn't object, Jonbonbon. I've enjoyed the challenging debate against a worthy opponent.
Posted by Jonbonbon 3 years ago
Whoops I forgot to post my source in the last round :P I would post it in the comments, but I always want to strangle people who do that, so I won't.
Posted by debate_power 3 years ago
Well, Renagade, If private schools were somewhat more affordable, then I'd have to say that would help your argument. Your idea wouldn't necessarily encourage an "elitist" society, obviously, if the tuition cost were lowered significantly. More importantly, I think you ought to include the exact historical events you mentioned in the following arguments. You might want to consider citing sources, as your opponent has and I believe it would help your argument, though you are right that they're not strictly necessary in this case. Just my opinion. Anyway, looks like a good, intriguing debate so far.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by neutral 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: No sources, analogies that do not hold, and claims that a lithe research have shown are false - like cost efficiency. Privatized schools are often MORE expensive that public ones from college all the way down to kindergarten. A simple fact check would have revealed it. Simply put, Pro's case appears to be ideological based rather than fact based.
Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments