Holiday Planning

Dave Killion — April 9, 2011

Taking kids anywhere on vacation can be a real challenge, since they are usually only available for holidays at the same time almost every other kid in the US and Canada is. This means flights are more expensive, accommodations cost more, and holiday destinations are more crowded during those times. Well, if Paul Willcocks is correct, parents in my home province of British Columbia have a chance to get around that this year by scheduling the annual family outing for early September. That’s because while kids in all the other states and provinces will be starting classes, BC children will likely be stranded by yet another teachers’ strike.

Although the economic situation in Canada is not as harsh as that in the US, things are still tough, and I think the teachers are going to get less support than they hope for. State, provincial, and local governments are in dire straits, and the largely non-unionized private sector workers who have suffered through the economic downturn are resentful of what they perceive to be the unwillingness of public-sector union members to share in the pain. Conflicts like those we’ve seen in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and other states are quite possible here if politicians think they will be better served catering to the private sector voter rather than the public sector voter.

No matter the outcome, know this: so long as government maintains a de facto monopoly on public education, costs will continue to rise with no commensurate improvement in outcomes. That is the perfectly predictable outcome, and there will be no significant change until parents are left free to exercise full control over their children’s education and bear the full costs of their choices.



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