Saturday, August 22, 2009

School choice, Swedish experience

Dan Mitchell of Cato went to Stockholm this week to attend the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) meeting. I know some friends from the US and UK who attended the said meeting. Anyway, Dan posted this in his blog:

The Mayor of Stockholm... mentioned that the number of students in private schools had skyrocketed after the implementation of Sweden’s school choice program... The number of students attending private high schools has jumped from 1.7 percent in 1992 to 19.5 percent in 2008. Not surprisingly, the quality of education is high. Indeed, researchers have looked at the data and concluded that, “Our findings support the hypothesis that school results in public schools improve due to competition.”

A Swedish friend, the Sec-Gen of the World Taxpayers Association (WTA), Bjorn Tarras Wahlberg, once discussed how the Swedish Taxpayers Association of which he was a key leader then, succeeded in the campaign for "half left" or personal income tax cut to 50 percent, from something like 70 or 80 percent top marginal income tax rate. But after a few years, the income tax rate went up to something like 62 percent. I supposed this has gone down again?

Many parents will not be able to send their children to private schools and pay high school fees, if their take home pay is small due to high personal income tax.

In the Philippines, most middle class and upper class parents send their children to private schools, from pre-school to university. Private schools are very responsive to parents' needs. There is also a wide variety of education "specialties" in elementary and secondary schools.

Of course the State still insist in taking as much taxes from us as it says that education is "government responsibility and not parental responsibility".

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