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Tavern Debate - Resolved: Abolish Public Schools!

This is an audience-participation event! So bring your best arguments to share in good cheer over beverages and a light meal.

March 10, 2022
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
The Heartland Institute
3939 N. Wilke Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004

Tavern debates, put on quarterly by the Chicago Lawyers' Chapter of the Federalist Society, are a lively intellectual trip back a couple of centuries to when the Founding Fathers debated the big questions of the day ... in a particular formal style. You'll not want to miss this joint Heartland Institute/Federalist Society event!

The topic up for debate:

Public education is indisputably a public good, along with the family a building block of a stable democratic republic. All United States citizens and taxpayers therefore have an interest, a duty, and a responsibility to help ensure the education of their fellow citizens. The country should not even think about abolishing a public school system, for without an educated public, paid for by the taxpayers, the American experiment in self-government will surely fail.

But the current system of U.S. public schooling, based on a Prussian model and an agrarian calendar, has manifestly failed in its mission. Instead of preparing future citizens to lead productive lives with satisfying careers, public schools over time have become little more than union employee sinecures, social promotion mills, and training grounds for future socialists to hate this country, its Founders, and its founding principles.

People need food as well as education, but the government does not establish government food stores; instead it provides financial assistance to families who are then free to spend their benefits at the grocery stores of their choice.

The American public would be better served by following this model, abolishing public schools, and providing education tax dollars to parents instead of teachers’ unions, permitting parents to send their children to existing and future private schools of their choice. Competition works in all other fields, and the U.S. should apply that to “public” education as well.

Please join us at the inaugural Heartland/FedSoc Tavern Debate of 2022 to discuss these and other ideas for how best to improve the state of education in the United States today. Food and beverages will be served. (Please note: this is an audience participation debate.)

  • Speakers
    • David Applegate
      Master of the Debate
      David Applegate is an attorney and a member of the Chicago Lawyers' Chapter of The Federalist Society. He is also a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
  • Schedule
    • 5:30 p.m.
      Doors open
    • 6:00 p.m.
      Debate begins
    • 7:00 p.m.
      Debate ends
    • 7:30 p.m.
      End of program