This is a very short essay included in Turning Back the Clock where Eco shares his thoughts on private schools, which he presents as being antithetical to democracy. I figured I would share a couple quotes.
And this is the situation in the United States: those with money can buy their children a good education; the children of those without money are condemned to semi-illiteracy. Hence the American state does not provide its citizens with equal opportunities.
(Turning Back the Clock: p. 98)
I admit that, if we leave things as they currently stand under the Constitution, we won’t be able to eliminate a certain amount of injustice: the rich will continue to send their children where they wish, while the poor are left in the hands of the state school system. But democracy also means accepting a tolerable quantity of injustice to avoid greater injustice.
(ibid: p. 101)
Personally, I have no problem with private schools. If someone can afford to send their kids to one, that’s fine. What I find offensive is the concept that people who elect to send their kids to private schools should be entitled to government funding in the form of vouchers, essentially taking educational funding away from those who need it. If you can afford tuition at a private school, you do not need state assistance. Demanding that you get this is the epitome of greed and selfishness. Just be grateful that you have the resources to provide an advantage for your kids. Lots of people would love to have that luxury.
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