Over the years, the cost of education in the United States has increased exponentially, especially when considering the tuition fee for a college education. Many Americans have been forced to halt their quest for education at the high school level because they cannot afford the cost of college. Similarly, more children are staying out of school at the lower levels of education because of the lack of sufficient purchasing power to access education. It is important to provide free education for all citizens in the nation because it will boost the performance of the labor force. Free education should be facilitated to all Americans for the nation to achieve faster economic growth.
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Benefits of Free Education
Free education has both private and public benefits because it enhances the quality of the labor force. Today’s world requires participants in the labor force to be acquainted with various technical skills that relate to modern technology. Companies are being forced to outsource labor from other countries to fill in job opportunities that require skills that are not possessed by many Americans. Providing free education would see more Americans pursuing technical courses and being able to harness the available opportunities in various industries (Spring 12). Having a highly skilled labor force would ultimately enhance the performance of the nation, concerning its gross domestic product (GDP). Education for all would enhance the literacy level of the United States and make it one of the most productive countries in the world.
A highly educated population would be associated with creativity, which would enable the development of innovative solutions to the prevailing national issues. The quest for self-actualization on the part of individuals can be boosted through the provision of talent development opportunities through free education (Rose 44). This would result in more people developing economic opportunities through self-employment, which would subsequently create more jobs to eliminate the issue of unemployment. Additionally, an educated society would place the nation in the limelight of solving global issues like developing solutions to global warming and cancer. Moreover, education for all Americans would ultimately eliminate current social issues that incline toward the segregation of a portion of the population. There have been major debates at the national level with parties claiming that access to education, especially at the higher level, is only accessible to the White majority. Education for all would eliminate this issue and see more people from the minority ethnic and racial groups participating in professions in which they are currently lowly represented.
Opponents of free education for all U.S. citizens reveal that such a program would be too expensive for the government. The American government is currently struggling to provide students with college loans and to run other social programs because it can barely raise sufficient funds (Fridley and Sharpe 474). This implies that free education would be impossible to provide for every citizen, especially in a higher level of education. The cost of infrastructure and the human resources required to provide education for all citizens in the United States would be extremely high.
Opponents of free education for all would result in most people competing for white-collar jobs while ignoring opportunities in the informal field. The current situation provides healthy competition for opportunities in all fields. Opponents believe that free education would result in an economy that is solely driven by production in the formal sector.
Fridley, James L., and Rachelle E. Sharpe. “Advancing Understanding of Affordability in Washington State: An Interactive Model Exploring Student Higher Education Financing.” Journal of Education Finance, vol. 41, no. 4, 2016, pp. 473-487.
Rose, Mike. Why school?: Reclaiming education for all of us. The New Press, 2014.
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Spring, Joel. American Education. 8th ed., Routledge, 2017.