The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

The Friedmans on School Choice

The Voucher Challenge

“It is only the tyranny of the status quo that leads us to take it for granted that in schooling, government monopoly is the best way for the government to achieve its objective.”
— "The School Choice Advocate," January 2004

Milton Friedman On Vouchers

“Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go. We are far from that ultimate result. If we had that — a system of free choice — we would also have a system of competition, innovation, which would change the character of education.”
— CNBC Interview Transcript, March 2003

Why America Needs School Vouchers

“The major objective of educational vouchers is much more ambitious. It is to drag education out of the 19th century — here it has been mired for far too long — and into the 21st century, by introducing competition on a broad scale.”
— Wall Street Journal, 2000

Parental Choice: Who Wins, Who Loses - A Look at the Future

“Improved education is offering a hope of narrowing the gap between the less and more skilled workers, of fending off the prior prospect of a society divided between the “haves” and “have nots,” of a class society in which an educated elite provided welfare for a permanent class of unemployables.”
— "The School Choice Advocate," July 1998

Public Schools: Make Them Private

“A greatly improved educational system can do more than anything else to limit the harm to our social stability from a permanent and large underclass.”
— The Washington Post, June 1995

Milton Friedman on Busting the School Monopoly

“The only solution is to break the monopoly, introduce competition and give the customers alternatives.”
— Newsweek, 1983

What's Wrong with Our Schools?

“Parents generally have both greater interest in their children's schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else.”
— "Free to Choose: A Personal Statement," 1979/1980

Selling School like Groceries: The Voucher Idea

“There is no doubt what the key obstacle is to the introduction of market competition into schooling: the perceived self-interest of the educational bureaucracy.”
— The New York Times Magazine, 1975

Milton Friedman on Decentralizing Schools

“A far better alternative to political control is to introduce competition in schooling, to give parents a real choice.”
— Newsweek, 1968

The Role of Government in Education

“The injection of competition would do much to promote a healthy variety of schools.”
— "Capitalism and Freedom," 1962

The Role of Government in Education

“The administration of schools is neither required by the financing of education, nor justifiable in its own right in a predominantly free enterprise society.”
— Economics and the Public Interest, 1955

Additional Quotes from the Friedmans

“Governments never learn. Only people learn.”
— Milton Friedman

“If you end up with a population that doesn’t know how to read, doesn’t know how to write, knows nothing about history, knows nothing about geography, who’s going to conduct the affairs of the country?”
— Rose D. Friedman

“Competition would force the government schools to shape up or close down.”
— Rose D. Friedman

“A stable and democratic society is impossible without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens and without widespread acceptance of some common set of values. Education can contribute to both.”
— "Capitalism and Freedom," 1962

“I blame only those well-meaning persons who, while sending their own children to private schools, self-righteously lecture the ‘lower classes’ about their responsibility to put up with government-supplied pabulum in the ‘public interest.’”
— The New York Times Magazine, September 23, 1975

“Nor is it ever made clear why if the public school system is performing so magnificently, it need fear competition from nonpublic, competitive schools.”
— The New York Times Magazine, September 23, 1975

“I sense that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in one state or another which will then sweep like wildfire through the rest of the country as it demonstrates its effectiveness.”
— The Washington Post, February 19, 1995

“We have so far only seen the early fruits from the introduction of vouchers, from giving parents a choice. The best is yet to come as competition and the market work their wonders.”
— "The School Choice Advocate," July 1998

“Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice and private initiative  the building blocks of success throughout our society.” 
The New York Post, February 20, 2002

“The purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and involvement.”
— CNBC Interview, March 24, 2003

“Just as the breakup of the Ma Bell monopoly led to a revolution in communications, a breakup of the school monopoly would lead to a revolution in schooling.”
— "The School Choice Advocate," November 2005

“We have concluded that the achievement of effective parental choice requires an ongoing effort to inform the public about the issues and possible solutions, and effort that is not episodic, linked to particular legislative or ballot initiatives, but that is educational. It requires also the cooperation of the many groups around the country who are devoted to improving the quality of our schools, whether governmental or private. This Foundation is our contribution to that objective.”
— Founders' Letter, 1996