Today marks the 100th birthday of a man who championed the idea of school choice. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Laureate winning economist, led the argument for parents choosing their children’s schools. Of course the choice between public school and private school is offered but the limitations of poverty prevent some children from affording the private school option. That’s why Friedman believed in giving power to the family. Children shouldn’t be punished because of geographic location or financial needs. Therefore, Friedman argued for school vouchers and making schools compete for students. He had faith in the free market that so many on the left doubt and mock as foolish obsession. Yet, many today are starting to discover the beauty of educational freedom.
California recently increased their parental involvement in education through a program called the parent trigger. Arizona has revamped the idea of school vouchers and has created education savings accounts which could pay for private schools tuition and/or other educational supplies such as books. States like Indiana and Louisiana are expanding their voucher programs to accommodate more children. The current education system is not working and people are finally realizing the benefits of educational freedom.
However, there is still more work to be done. The 100th birthday of Milton Friedman marks not only the celebration of a renowned economist but also a year that will determine the fundamental principles that will guide this country. Do we seek the freedom that benefits all men and women or will we succumb to government’s guidelines? Milton Friedman will always be remembered for his contributions to economic freedom, and I hope that my generation will be inspired by him and continue his fight. Maybe one day every American will be Free to Choose.