Editors at the Fort Worth Star Telegram are shocked — shocked! — to find that what is driving the beginnings of good public policy in Birdville Independent School District is — horror of horrors — a need to improve efficiency and maximize their existing revenues. The leftist editors are beside themselves that good public policy is only coming about because of a tight fiscal situation.

But scarcity always drives innovation and efficiency in the real world. Basically, the school district is going to try to attract out-of-district students so they can bring in more state dollars. They will be looking to attract the best and brightest kids, with no behavior issues — apparently because those kinds of kids present the least cost to the district.

The Star Telegram writes, “It’s just a shame that what triggers a creative policy” is the state school finance system. What they miss is that it is only tight finances that could trigger such a response. When a bureaucracy is fat and happy, it has no incentive to change.

After all, school districts have consistently opposed meaningful reforms that allow comprehensive transfers from one district to another, one school to another. School districts have long opposed competition in all its forms… Until they need to get those scarce dollars.

Hopefully Birdville’s action will spur other districts to work harder to keep the good kids, thus increasing educational achievement for everyone. Competition improves the lot for everyone by driving innovation that improves quality.

Next week the Star Telegram will announce that the Earth rotates around the Sun.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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