One month before I joined Ron Paul’s Congressional staff in Washington, my article against school vouchers was published in The Freeman (May 1976). That was a long time ago.
My article was directed against Professor Friedman’s chapter favoring school vouchers in his 1962 book, Capitalism and Freedom.
School vouchers are a way to let parents have some choice in where to send their children to school. The local government issues vouchers to parents of school-age children. Local schools can exchange vouchers for money from the government. If schools can attract parents who will pay partial tuition in the form of vouchers, they can make extra money. This, Friedman argued, would be good for parents and children.
I argued that it would be a disaster for the independence of private schools that joined the voucher-redemption program. They would have to accept government regulation for their curriculum programs and even teaching methods. After all, as Friedman taught, there are no free lunches in life. The government cannot legally hand out money willy-nilly. Recipients of government money must meet government standards. This means control…..