America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Privatizing Schools for Fun and Profit
By Martin H. Levinson
14 April 2015
Many Americans believe the job of educating children should be shifted to the private sector to save money and to provide better instruction to children. A number of localities have already begun to move in this direction and scores of others are considering the notion. Thereís clearly dough to be made in school privatization and for those interested in getting into this lucrative field here are a few ideas on the subject.
The first thing youíll need to do is to hire some teachers and that shouldnít be a problem if the hiring bar is set at the right level. The level I recommend is anybody who has attended school. This will provide a hiring pool of nearly everyone in the country. If you want to be more expansive, offer the job to anyone with a pulse.
In terms of salary, I suggest using the following formula: add the number of years a person has attended school to the personís age, divide by the square root of four, subtract from it the number of fish there are in the sea, and multiply by 1. The result will be a negative integer, which means your employees will have to pay you for the privilege of working. If they object to this arrangement offer them fifty cents an hour above the federal minimum wage. If they still complain look for other people. (Consider recruiting illegal aliens. There are lots of Illegals who would jump at a chance to take a teaching position and work at the wages youíre offering.)
Next youíll need some students. A good tactic for attracting learners is to pay them, and you wonít have to pay them much since theyíre getting nothing from the public schools. But make sure you pay them less than their teachers because if you donít the teachers will quit and enroll as students in your school. Also, since the kids are being paid, donít hire custodial staff. Have the children clean the school as part of their stipend.
There are loads of ways to conserve on food costs. The best way is to have parents pack meals for their kids. If this is not practical, have the children grow vegetables and raise beef cattle in the schoolyard. Donít bother with a school cafeteria. Have the students and teachers eat in the classrooms. This will provide an opportunity for them to bond with each other and you wonít have to employ lunchroom aides.
To save on textbook costs, instruct students to download free educational material on the Internet when they go home each night. If parents insist their children receive textbooks do not buy new ones. Purchase them used at Amazon.com.
As far as student transportation, ask the parents to bring their kids to school. In cases where this is not possible have bicycles available for transport and rent them to the youngsters. Children too young to bike can be picked up by older students and placed in the baskets of their bicycles. And hereís a bonus: because biking is such great exercise you wonít need phys. ed. instructors.
Your students will probably have to take standardized tests and your success, and theirs, will be determined by how well they do on these exams. To ensure everyoneís chances of succeeding, order the teachers to teach to the tests and if they are allowed to grade the exams instruct them to change incorrect answers to correct ones to make sure the scores are high. Tell your educators that if they havenít taught the students well enough so that the kids could achieve good marks on their own, they owe this form of extra help to the children.
Like any private enterprise, thereís always a chance you wonít make it in the education biz. If that happens do not despair. Your students can always go back to the public schools and your teachers, if you hired the group I suggested, can find work in the agricultural field. The important thing is you gave it a try. You tried to make a buck off the kids, you tried to rip off your staff, and you tried to scam the system. The robber barons of the nineteenth century would have envied your efforts to make a profit from education and Iím sure the robber barons around today would feel the same way. Besides, there are plenty of other ways to make money. For example: military privatization. If you go that route I know a great place for hiring mercenaries whom you can contract out to the army and earn significant bucks in the exchange.
Martin H. Levinson is the author of nine books and numerous articles, plays, and poems on various subjects, including The Levinson Report: Cutting Edge Satire for Geniuses Like You. He is a member of the Authors Guild, National Book Critics Circle, and the book review editor for ETC: A Review of General Semantics. His website can be accessed at martinlevinson.com.