The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

The government must fund education

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,260 times Debate No: 35719
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




Hello, in this debate I will argue that it is good for the society that the government funds education for those who cannot afford it.

Con will argue that it is not the government function to do so, or that it is not good for society that he does.

I am not necessarily discussing public schools, which is a posterior debate, this debate is only whether there must be public funds for education.

Burden of Proof is shared, both sides have to make a point.

Secular discussion, please. No citing the bible or saying that something is the will of God.

I am looking forward to meet an opponent (probably libertarian or anarchist) who has good arguments on the subject.

If something is not clear, please ask in the comment section.


I am actually a more left-wing political advocate myself but I am, nonetheless, centrist overall.

This means that although I see the necessity for government intervention to ensure a safety net for the poor and fully appreciate that this is a handout for the poor of a nation, not an inherent duty of the government.

I would of course support everyone having right to education but I can see the right wing's arguments against it as well.
Debate Round No. 1


Although I believe that education is a fundamental right, and as so it must be provided by the state, I will argue from a different angle. I would like to debate on the economic benefits of education for the society, that is, I will argue that education has a great number of positive externalities. This means that when someone is educated, it benefits others around him, and the society as a whole, which means that higher levels of education spending are socially desirable.

First of all, let's consider the productivity gain for the country. Workers with higher levels of education are more capable and efficient, making less mistakes and creating more value overall[1][2]. Higher levels of investment in education have been proven to lead to higher levels of GDP per capita, higher life expectancy and lower child mortality[3][4]. This is to be expected, as higher investments in education are certain to result in a higher number of capable professionals, not only industry workers, but also physicians, engineers, lawyers, managers, etc. And in the present world, the main resource for anything is human capital. In the age of knowledge, it is essential to have the best professionals in order to succeed. And this can only be achieved through education.

Another benefit refers to civic engagement and democracy. For democracy to be feasible, it is needed that the people meet certain level of literacy and knowledge, and preferably that citizens share some basic values. Good education contributes to both factors, helping to build an stable and democratic society, while teaching children how to participate in its political life[5].

The third point I would like to cover is the effect of education on crime rates. It has been proven that schooling significantly reduces criminality, with a 1% increase in high school completion rate implying in estimated $1.4 billion reduced costs from crime per year in the United States[6]. There are several reasons for that, but the main one is that by raising earnings, education raises the opportunity cost of crime and the cost of time of time spent in prison. Furthermore, education changes individuals perception on discount rates, making them more patient and risk averse, which also reduces their propensity to commit crimes. Finally, a crime life is most times initiated during teenage years. If children and teenagers stay in school, the opportunities to start a crime career are much scarcer.

For these reasons, I believe the social return brought by education justifies fully its public funding. Investment in education, when well structured, makes citizens lives better in many aspects and aids the country economic progress. By guaranteeing that everyone has access to quality education, government ensures that the nation will enjoy social stability and economic growth that would be unattainable otherwise.



If one were to analyse, in depth, the argument that Pro posted in round two they'd find a compelling case as to why education is beneficial to the working population of a society overall. Yet if one were to look for a single justification as to why the government must fund it, then one would realise that none were given. Let's, first of all, assess this case for education, although not directly linked to the resolution. The bulk of the case that Pro had for education was that a workforce is good for society and that education was required for a workforce. However, in reality, the majority of blue-collar jobs do not require any official qualifications at all. There are also very high-paying jobs that, although they require a lot of time and work to get them, re zero qualifications to do so. (

Additionally, it's never actually too late to be educated ( in order to enter the working world and so while you may be slaving away for your youth on getting the money for a college course, you'd still eventually achieve it through hard work in a privatised education system.

The second issue raised by Pro is that for democracy to be feasible, people of a nation must reach a minimum level of literacy and knowledge. What exactly is a minimum level of knowledge? One can't measure knowledge by objective means. As for literacy, why is it essential for anyone to be able to read any more than a name on a ballot paper in order to vote? Soeone with no education at all but the ability to speak could understand the different philosophies of political parties and vote accordingly by just memorising which name links to which person and their party and then tick that box. Democracy is simply defined as a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. (, in no way, requires all of the voter to be literate. In fact, to discriminate against illiterate members of a population would be everything democracy stands against and some people have dyslexia or similar condition which can be a real challenge to overcome no matter how much education they have shoved down their throat.

The final point my opponent raises is that education reduces crime. This is absolutely ridiculous. In a publicly educated country, such as the United Kingdom, many children who are educated commit crimes (since all children are educated juvenile crime is always done by educated youths). ( So, if a country where everyone has access to education has such a variety of juvenile offenders then clearly education isn't key in cutting crime, upbringing is. An individual case is found at this source: and within it you will find the author exclaiming " was an "A" student in school. I lived in a relatively stable home. My relatives tried valiantly to teach me the values of "right from wrong." Yet, from five-years-old until 25-years-old, I was a criminal. Lying is a critical criminal skill, and often so is violence."

It is not education that prevents crime, in fact education instills the mentality that the worse you make others do, the better you seem since grades are always on a bell curve basis. ( What does prevent crime is a complex combination of deterrence, rehabilitation and a culture of peace. ( none of this requires any education at all.

In conclusion, there is no obligation for a government to fund the education of it's people and no obligation for the rich to help the poor be educated. Pro has failed to achieve their burden of proof as yet and I look forward to seeing them build their case back up by defending against the attacks I have brought forth on their points.
Debate Round No. 2


Con has not made any real rebuttal, restraining himself to distorting my arguments into other things. Let's clarify what Con tried to fog.

First, I have never said that all jobs require official qualification. What I did say, is that higher levels of education implicate in higher levels of efficiency overall, which is supported by various studies[1-6]. Also, Con makes a false claim that there are high-paying jobs which require zero qualifications, while providing 10 examples of jobs which ALL require qualifications and skills that are developed through education to be well executed[7]. So, saying that investment in human capital does not generate returns in productivity is absurd.

After that, Con says that it is never too late to be educated. I really don't see how is that an argument against public education. In fact, most of the adult education in Brazil is provided by public schools, and the private schools that provide it receive governmental aid. 4.287.234 adult Brazilians went back to school in 2010[8], so Con is right to say that you can get educated after adulthood, but that is an argument in favor of public education, not against it.

About democracy, it is obvious that educated people make better decisions. It is not rare to see politicians making promises that they can't legally fulfill. When people lack the knowledge on its own laws, these politicians are elected. Also, I have never discriminated against illiterate members of a population, neither have I suggested they should be excluded somehow, I have only said that for the society, it is better to have as many literate people as possible, and I can't see a reason to disagree with that.

Finally, the most ridiculous claim Con makes is that education does not reduce crime. He fallaciously says that in UK people are educated, and still commit crimes, hence education does not reduces crime. This is a fallacy because I have never said that education eradicates crime, but only that it REDUCES criminality. And again, there are numerous studies that support that[9-15]. I am sorry about the great number of references, but there are so many sources proving the negative correlation between education and crime that I can't believe my opponent was ignorant (or dishonest) enough to say that education does not reduce crime.

Still on crime, my opponent says that "grades are always on a bell curve basis". I have NEVER been graded on such basis, neither anyone I personally know. For me, this was an experimental grading system, I didn't even know that it was actually used in real educational contexts. The very source Con used declares that the bell curve should never be used to establish grades[16], so again, Con is being either ignorant or dishonest by saying that this system is always used on grades.

In conclusion, I have achieved burden of proof by showing that investment in education socially desirable, as it produces a great number of positive externalities. As so, it is the government function to fund education as to achieve socially optimal levels. Con has failed to rebut my arguments, and has shamefully distorted them and used false information in order to disqualify the debate.



While he insulted me, throughout round three, he failed to explain why the funding of education must be by government and not privately-run corporations.

Pro proved education to be valuable to a society to a great extent but never once achieved even an ounce of explanation as to why it must be publicly funded as opposed to privatised...

I feel very insulted by his round three attack on me and personally don't feel as if he gave my round two much thought before gargling up 16 sources about education and nothing to do with government funding whatsoever and hoping to get an easy sources points vote...

I don't understand how I construed his arguments or 'fogged' over what he really was trying to say.

Pro simply explained why education is valuable, not why the government must fund it.

It is for that simple reason that I feel as if I have successfully won this debate. I feel the pro was arguing education's value alone whilst not appreciating that this can be achieved through privatisation.

In conclusion, education can be privatised and Pro has failed to give sufficient justification for mandatory government funding of it.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by airmax1227 4 years ago
I deleted the vote bomb and the counter, however the vote count and the total score did not change. So while the offending vote has been negated due to the counter, there is clearly a bug to work out here that will make the actual deletion matter.
Posted by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
landonwash votebombed
Posted by Piccini 4 years ago
Articles and scientific studies against blogs. I think mine were more reliable.
Posted by BornToDebate 4 years ago
Sources is about which is more reliable not which had more sources.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
This is in many ways an excellent debate. The arguments were not verbose, were clear, and both sides engaged in substantive rebuttals. I wish more debates I read had these rather basic properties.

CON dropped nearly all of his points, and brought up public vs private in his final round. I think CON has a decent case in that what PRO brought forth did not actually OBLIGATE government to fund education, and I agree that is a very high burden. "Socially optimal levels" is not something I necessarily equate to a government function.

Regardless, this was brought in the final round, and only after all other points were dropped by CON. Furthermore, both sides called each other "ridiculous" which largely negates much of CON's final round butt-hurt arguments, which I found disingenuous, especially after PRO called out sources against CON.

In the end, I found CON to be correct about burden of proof being inordinately high, but I recognize this was brought up in the final round and only after CON lost the actual argument, so I will score arguments a tie. Sources go to PRO.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 1 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Relatively short and sweet debate.