Teachers union embraces Question 3 to give consumers choices regarding energy providers

This letter originally appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

In its official endorsing statement of Question 3 (energy choice), the Clark County Education Association recently declared, “Nevadans know that monopolies … don’t work for consumers,” and that the only ones supportive of them are those who “stand to benefit” (Tuesday Review-Journal, “CCEA endorses energy initiative”).

It’s refreshing to see the teacher union embrace the economic reality that free markets and competition serve consumers better than a monopoly. Now it’s time to apply that same mindset to education.

For more than 30 years, the one-size-fits-all monopoly education system has failed Nevadans, despite record tax hikes and a near tripling in inflation-adjusted, per-pupil funding.

Thankfully, by injecting competition and market forces into the state’s education system, choice programs such as Education Savings Accounts and Opportunity Scholarships promise a better way forward. Such options offer underserved students an escape from the floundering K-12 monopoly, so they are not forced to wait indefinitely for their local schools to improve.

Despite enjoying broad support from Nevada voters, these programs are fiercely opposed by the teacher unions who, as the CCEA so astutely observed, “stand to benefit” from protecting the existing monopoly system.

So the next time you hear a member of Nevada’s failing education system oppose choice, you’d be wise to borrow from the CCEA’s statement for an effective rebuttal.

Daniel Honchariw is senior policy analyst at NPRI.