As I explained elsewhere, the education system for Libertarians is theoretically quite different than the education system that we employ today. The big idea behind it is self-directed learning, meaning the students make their own choices as far as their own education. So how does a self-directing education system work for the teachers and administrators? Here is a hypothetical breakdown of how a libertarian school system would operate.
For the Teachers
The Parents are in Charge
The first major change is that the parents would be in charge with paying the teachers, like they would a tutor in the current system. The parents would only pay the teachers that their children are signed up with. Since the students pick their own subjects and their own teachers, the amount paid would vary greatly between teachers.
Likewise, evaluations would happen through the parents, approving the success of a teacher and paying them accordingly. The major flaw with this set-up is what the parents are seeing versus what is actually happening in the classroom. If a student is uninterested in a subject matter, he or she could be inaccurately representing what the class looks like, putting fault unfairly with the teacher. In order to side-step this, it should be treated the same as a college course. There is a flat fee for the course that everyone pays, regardless of how well the student is performing or how interested the student is in the subject matter
Another big difference between the libertarian school system and our current system is that the teachers will now be competing for students. Since the more students that sign up for you class means the bigger paycheck you will earn, it would be in your best interest, as a teacher, to perform well. You need to make your class interesting and engaging in order to be successful.
If a student does not like a teacher’s class, it is easy to change to another class. The problem I see here is how the payments would transfer from one teacher to another, unless it is a monthly set up.
The Teachers Also Have Power
Do not think that the teachers are completely at the mercy of the students and parents, however. The purpose of having a free system, does not mean one party is free, but that everyone is free. So in terms of the teachers, they would have more power to remove students from the classroom than they do at the moment.
If a student is negatively impacting the classroom, the student can be kicked out. Of course, the teacher would lose the payment from that student’s parents, but on a positive note, the teacher will also get a positive reputation for being in control of the classroom and taking education seriously.
Schools are also run by a management team. This would not change, since someone needs to be in control of the school. The school administrators would gain funding from what the teachers are earning from the parents. Newer teachers would have to pay a higher portion of their profit to the administrators than more popular and experienced teachers.
There would be no excess in the budget because all necessities would be itemized out and then prioritized based on need. If the parents are pushing for something additional in the school, then it is put on the parents to find the means to achieve it.
Parents would need to pay equipment fees that were appropriate for each classroom. This would be how books would be purchased and classrooms would be maintained. An English class, for example, would require general maintenance, books, paper, and pens. A computer class, however, would be far more expensive due to the cost of the computer equipment.
This will put the financial value on the type of class it is rather than having everything treated equally, since that is really not the case with education an specific classes.