March 7, 2022
Who Would Alter a Monopoly if They Didn’t Have To?
By: Idaho Parents for Education Choice Co-founder Carolyn Harrison
As I heard the news that three Democrats and five Republicans voted “nay” for HB669, the “Hope and Opportunity Scholarship Program” Parent-Choice/Education Savings Account (ESA) Bill, for one split second, I was somewhat despondent—and certainly confused.
Because this is a piece of legislation driven by competition, I was puzzled at why anyone would EVER vote against a mainstay of this country’s successful economy, where the market determines price, products, and services, rather than the government.
I found the answer:
Idaho’s House Education Committee comprises an inordinate amount of long-term educators. Educators who, for most of their occupational journey, have been involved in the instruction of, and/or oversight over, students, exclusively.
Very rarely will people involved in this profession own a business, manage a business, or work for an employer who owns a business. Even if there’s a professor teaching business classes, chances are very high that prof never worked in, nor near, a business—EVER.
I’m creeping up on the reason for this vote: loss of control by competing!
Competition means one has to compete! One has to work—and work hard—to differentiate oneself from its competitors.
Educators work for the Department of Education, a 155-year-old, government dominated monopoly that does not engender, nor trust, something that would make them change, if they didn’t have to.
Since the 18th century, educators have been, and continue to be, cloistered within the “protection” and direction of unions. Venturing out to compete means their “cozy” monopolistic, union-driven, domicile would be altered; it means control would be lost; it means “ceding authority and power!”
Who would alter that monopolistic position if they didn’t have to? No one; not without a fight!
So, if you tell an educator that a portion of the money which, heretofore, was going directly to them, will now go to someone else, there is a natural (major) pushback.
Will they have to discontinue their price-fixing? Will they have to cease their low-quality products and lack of incentives for innovation? Will they have to stop their consumer exploitation?
No, the current education system is just fine with them, thank-you very much. Having to distinguish themselves from other possible education opportunities by rightfully giving money back to the parents who earned it would be a step too far.
So, all the “loss of control” and “surrendering authority” remarks emanating from the hearing before we gave our testimony at the HB669 Print Hearing are the byproduct of fear, fear they may lose that control they have so richly enjoyed for over 100 years in their sheltered education environment.
So, as we parents settle in for the long haul to effect major changes in the electoral outcome of 2022, let’s heed what international best-selling author, Brian Tracy, said:
“Yard by yard is hard; inch by inch is a cinch!”
Trust me, parents, replacing those who voted against this Bill will be a “cinch”—one
inch at a time.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about Idaho Parents for Educational Choice, visit: Idaho Parents for Educational Choice