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Milton Friedman: the Father of School Choice

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

As NTUF gets ready to host our happy hour event in honor of Milton Friedman's 102nd birthday, many are gearing up to enjoy a fantastic opportunity to network, play Cards Against Liberty, and celebrate the legacy of the influential economist. However, one activity taking place at this event -- a school supply drive for Perry Street Preparatory Public Charter School -- happens to be inspired by Friedman's strong, life-long advocacy for school choice.

His philosophy centered on the idea that, while education is an incredibly valuable commodity, no one type of school setting is ideal (or even adequate) for every child. The ability for families to actually choose the type of schooling that they desire for their children leads to the highest quality K-12 education. To satisfy this end, families may elect to have the money that would otherwise be spent on their children's public education transferred to them so that they can select a school more tailored to their child's needs. Many areas around the country support such a model incorporating a variety of systems to transfer this money including: vouchers, educational savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, and individual tax credits/deductions.

Perry Street Prep (PSP) is one such school that operates on this principle. Driven by a mission of empowering "students to be college-ready and to thrive in a global society," PSP strives to build relationships with families from a community of diverse learners. Founded in 1999 as the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School by Joseph W. Gauld, the school currently serves 953 students and supports an average class size of 15 students to every teacher. In addition, the school boasts a faculty that is certified as 100 percent HQT (Highly Qualified Teacher).

If you're in the Washington, D.C. area this week, come out on Tuesday, July 29 to the Laughing Man Tavern and celebrate one of the most influential economists of our time, and while you're at it, bring school supplies to help support this fantastic school.

Can't make it in person? Join NTUF online at our special #Milton102 page, where you can vote for your favorite tax reform proposal and be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. Last year, we received input from taxpayers all over the country and we expect even more participation this time around. Whether you'd prefer a Flat Tax, a FairTax, or a modified version of our current system, let us know and be part of the nation-wide discussion among policy experts and grassroots members alike on this important issue!