For your liberty!
James Eyer
Candidate for U.S. Congress District 9

Talking Points: Education


  • A well-educated society is critical for prosperity and for preservation of our freedom. Without significant improvement of our education system our prosperity and freedom are threatened.
  • Government schools do a relatively poor job of educating children.
  • Government schools’ generic schedules and curricula cannot possibly serve individual preferences and learning needs of students.
  • Government education is driven as much or more by politics, self preservation and fear of the education unions than by the mission: student learning.
  • There is a very limited relationship between money spent per student and education quality.
  • Community-based (decentralized) schools provide a superior education.
  • Parents -- including those who are politicians and that are involved with government schools -- are taking their children out of government schools at an accelerating pace.
  • Over 7 million children attend non-government schools nationwide -- about 5.25 million in conventional private and religious schools (there are more than 40 private schools in Oakland CA alone), and 2 million in home schools.
  • Despite being paid at least 25% more and having smaller class sizes than teachers in non-government schools, government school teachers are less satisfied with their jobs.
  • The federal government should play no role in education. 1) education is a community endeavor, 2) the federal government’s scope (as described in the U.S. Constitution) does not include education, 3) one-size-fits-all federal programs are rarely effective, 4) federal programs have expensive testing and other compliance costs and restrictions on how monies may be used.

Policies and Actions

  • Give more autonomy to principals and teachers to fashion the kind of schools parents want and students need.
  • Good teachers are essential to any school. Encourage good teachers by:
  • Paying for success: a teacher's pay should be higher is s/he is teaching a subject for which s/he has a college degree. For example, 10% more pay for bachelor’s degree, another 10% more for a master’s degree. Also, teachers' pay should be set based primarily on evaluations by students, parents, peers, and principals.
  • Simplify credentialing requirements and eliminate education unions’ monopoly on education jobs. Many well qualified professionals and retirees who would teach, even on a volunteer basis, do not teach due in part due to requirements which serve only to preserve the education bureaucracy and teacher union’s power.
  • Allow teachers to decide how and by whom they should be represented, including new “grass-roots” unions.
  • No tax money should be sent to the federal government for education. Any tax money spent for education should be spent locally, without federal government meddling, red tape and expensive overheads.
  • Parents, principals, and students understand students’ needs best; we should allow parents and students to choose which school to attend. Give 70% of average spending per student for government schools to the school attended, leave 30% with local school district to cover fixed costs.
  • Encourage more private funding for schools that need a lot of help. The potential is significant!

rev 7/16/04