Real Life Super Bowl

-Israel Teitelbaum

While many millions of Americans were watching two football teams battle it out in an evenly matched contest, a real life battle for the future of this nation was and is being fought. This match is far more lopsided.

On the right are a handful of political leaders and about 60 major “Right Wing” organizations. They have budgets that pale in comparison to their opponents, with staffs of thousands. While the Right may enjoy enthusiastic cheering from much of talk radio, reaching tens of millions of listeners, the “news” portion of radio broadcasts, as well as TV news and commentary are dominated by the Left. These are viewed daily in most households, many times more than radio talk shows. The Left also has a standing political army of 3.2 million members of the National Education Association stationed in all 50 states and over 14,000 communities across the USA. Additionally, countless advocacy groups are funded out of the NEA’s estimated $2 Billion budget.

Had the two Super Bowl teams been so matched, it is doubtful that anyone would have been watching the game. It’s therefore not surprising that so many conservatives feel apathetic, hopeless and confused. This also explains why all the leading presidential candidates when addressing the issue of education for all our children, fear the left side of the isle, even those calling themselves conservative, leaving many of our children abandoned in poor public schools that do not teach.

Although it may be extremely difficult to level the playing field, November 4, 2008 offers us the opportunity to do so. All 435 U.S. congressional seats and 35 senate seats are up for grabs. We need to fill them with dedicated individuals, willing to run for Congress on the platform that would begin this process.

The overwhelming advantage of the Left is derived from their monopolistic control of our nation’s educational system, the world’s largest conglomerate. This monopoly must be broken with the passage of the Civil Rights Act for Equal Educational Opportunity, which would require the states to provide equitable educational funding for children in public and non-public schools, while respecting the liberty of schools in hiring and provision of services. This plan is based on the idea first proposed by the late, great economist Milton Friedman, in his 1955 article The Role of Government in Education:

“…The imposition of a minimum required level of education and the financing of education by the state can be justified by the ‘neighborhood effects’ of education. It is more difficult to justify…the actual administration of educational institutions by the government, the ‘nationalization,’ as it were, of the bulk of the ‘education industry.’

“Yet the two steps could readily be separated. Governments could require a minimum level of education which they could finance by giving parents vouchers redeemable for a specified maximum sum per child per year if spent on ‘approved’ educational services. Parents would then be free to spend this sum and any additional sum on purchasing educational services from an ‘approved’ institution of their own choice. The educational services could be rendered by private enterprises operated for profit, or by non-profit institutions of various kinds. The role of the government would be limited to assuring that the schools met certain minimum standards such as the inclusion of a minimum common content in their programs, much as it now inspects restaurants to assure that they maintain minimum sanitary standards. An excellent example of a program of this sort is the United States educational program for veterans after World War II. Each veteran who qualified was given a maximum sum per year that could be spent at any institution of his choice, provided it met certain minimum standards.”

Had we listened to him then, it is most likely that we would not have the enormous societal problems we face today. Bob Schundler, who is spearheading the national school choice effort, put it this way: “Education is the very foundation upon which all society rests. Everything we know is derived from education. A decline in today’s education inevitably impacts tomorrow’s society. If we are going to be competitive in world markets, if we are going have a sound economy at home, and if to be we are to improve our society, we need to start with education, and we need to do it now. If those now in Congress will not take the lead to pass this legislation, we need to vote for representatives who will!”
Israel Teitelbaum is currently creating a new school choice organization to help further the efforts to improve our public schools. His blog will soon be up and running at Mr. Teitelbaum can be reached at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001