Monopolistic markets are characterized by the absence of consumer choice, barriers to entry and exit, businesses exercising control over prices and government interventions. Market for public schools is monopolistic. This is because this market is highly regulated and controlled by the government. Running of public schools is almost entirely funded by the government using taxes paid by the residents. Each family is normally assigned a school where the children can learn depending on their home address. Although families can take their children to any private school, no family is allowed to take their children in a public school that is outside their district of residence. Therefore, in public schools, the freedom of choice by consumers is curtailed irrespective of their ability to pay.
Public schools are not free. Although families do not directly pay for primary and secondary education, it is the taxes they pay to the government that is used to finance the running of public schools. Unions are eroding the overall quality of education. This is because unions continue to agitate for higher salaries for their members without any improvement in service delivery and the quality of education. Unions also keen on ensuring that all grass-root efforts to enforce consumer sovereignty are strongly opposed for selfish reasons.
Public schools perform dismally compared to private schools because they enjoy protection from consumer choice. The quality of public schools is worst in poor counties. Changing the education system will improve the quality of education. A competitive market for education will respond to consumer’s choices since consumers can exercise sovereignty. This will ensure efficient allocation of resources and improved service delivery to remain competitive and relevant in the market.
McConnell, C. R., Brue, S. L., & Flynn, S. M. (2012). Microeconomics: principles, problems, and policies (19 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Samuelson, P. A. (2010). Economics (14 ed.). New York: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.