… is from page 374 of the late, great UCLA economists Armen A. Alchian’s and William R. Allen’s Universal Economics (2018; Jerry L. Jordan, ed.); this volume is an updated version of Alchian’s and Allen’s magnificent and pioneering earlier textbook, University Economics:
Traditional public schools do not compete with each other for customers – students and their parents. Children are assigned to a school and cannot choose to attend another school across town that may be getting better results. The consequence has been that public schools are primarily “producer driven” – teachers and administrators do not have to be concerned that customers – students – will take their business elsewhere if they are not satisfied. It is rather like being in an isolated town with only one restaurant and you are required to eat out five times a week; the cook will not be concerned about how much you like the food.
DBx: Yes, except that to make the restaurant in this example even more akin to government K-12 non-charter schools, that restaurant would have to be one that is funded out of tax revenues extracted from all citizens – even from those citizens who are excused from having to eat out five times weekly – with no funds coming from out-of-pocket expenses of diners. Anyone who believes that non-charter K-12 government schools have adequate incentives to adequately serve students rather than be primarily focused on inflating the salaries and reducing the workloads of teachers and administrators is someone who also must also believe that such a hypothetical restaurant will serve diners at least as well as diners are served by actual restaurants.