Education: Non-market benefits, funding, and vouchers. Ronald Garner

Essay by ronnyg03University, Master's April 2004

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Why is public funding of education important? For one, it is estimated that the number of people involved in education in the United States is around eighty million. This includes roughly 69.2 million students, 4.3 million students, and 4.8 million administrators. Secondly according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Federal support for education, excluding estimated federal tax expenditures, was an estimated 147.9 billion in the Fiscal year 2002. This is an increase of 85.1 million when compared to the fiscal year of 1990. Furthermore, from the years 1990 to 2002 Federal funds for elementary and secondary education have increased eighty seven percent in constant dollars, while post secondary education has seen an increase of twenty-four percent. These numbers represent what most politicians preach when running for office, in that education is the future of America.

What are some other reasons for which education needs to be publicly funded? First when looking at this issue many studies have investigated the affect education has on earnings, yet it is important to look at the non-monetary benefits of education.

Next one needs to be informed of the different forms in which public education is funded. Finally, one needs to look at vouchers, a positive use of public funds for education.

What are some non-market benefits of education? First, there is a positive correlation between one's education and one's own health. Reasons for better health include, choosing occupations with low hazards, in addition to working and living in areas with less pollution. Other reasons include ability to afford better medical care, better nutrition, and choosing less participation in negative health behaviors such as smoking and drinking. Associated with the above statement is a positive association between schooling and the health of one's family members. Another non-market benefit is the positive link between one's...