Why Public Education?

There was a time when education throughout the world was primarily a privilege of the wealthy. Fortunately, our founding fathers recognized that the survival of our democracy depended upon an educated citizenry. Perhaps Thomas Jefferson (1820) put it best:

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

There are many advantages to universal public schools, both economic and social, as Dr. Dana Mitra, Professor of Education at Pennsylvania State University lists in her report Pennsylvania’s Best Investment: The Social and Economic Benefits of Public Education:

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