According to Webster’s Online Dictionary a MONOPOLY is:
- exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action
- exclusive possession or control
- a commodity controlled by one party
Many very intelligent and well-meaning people have referred to public schools as a monopoly. Public school have not been a monopoly and never will be a monopoly.
In order for public schools to be a monopoly, then they would have to have “EXCLUSIVE” possession or control. There has been private and religious schools available to students and parents since the early days of the United States (yes, many times access to these schools is limited by the cost or religious affiliation). Their existence removes the idea of exclusive control by public school.
Education is not a “COMMODITY” to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. As stated above, schools are not controlled by a single party therefore, they are not a monopoly.
In the current education landscape, there are many options available that further remove the label of “monopoly” from public schools.
- public schools
- public magnet school
- charter schools
- private school (non-religious)
- private school (religious)
So, from this point forward when someone refers to public education as a monopoly, please correct them.
David R. Taylor
29 Teacher, Coach and Principal