Probably the most important issue facing our country today is that so many public schools are failing our children. Mostly they are in lower economic areas which, regretfully, are often comprised of African-Americans and Hispanics. So it is not a result of racism, or at least not directly, it is economics. But this is as tragic as it is avoidable. Why is that? Because parents who are more wealthy have the ability of moving to a district that has better public schools, or sending their children to private schools. As a result, if wealthy parents are displeased with the education their children are receiving, they have the horsepower to effect changes. Why? Because school districts get paid for each enrolled student, so if a student leaves the district, the district loses money. So that results in more competition in education in the wealthier districts. But that is not true in the poorer communities because those parents do not have that flexibility. So often the teachers who can’t teach or are too lazy to do so effectively wind up in the poorer districts – and with the powers of the teachers’ unions, they mostly cannot be fired!

So what is the remedy? As you know, last week’s column strongly recommended that the federal Department of Education be abolished. And what should take its place? Local control! As you undoubtedly agree, parents are in a much better position to decide how and where their children should be educated. Thus if parents were able to dictate where the public money were to be spent on the education of their children, by and large they would choose excellence and, as has been abundantly shown in many cities in Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, Indiana, West Virginia and elsewhere, that is what they will receive. Put another way, public education systems without School Choice programs are probably the only area in our economy where the provider dictates what the customers will purchase. So there is no incentive to make the “product” better.

With that understanding that is why, I am deeply proud to say, my great wife Dr. Grace Walker Gray and I have recently published a novel with the theme of School Choice. It is called 2030 KIDS: We Are the Rising Heroes of the Planet (Beyond Publishing, 2022). As Mark Victor Hansen, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, says in his endorsement on the cover of our book, “2030 KIDS is brilliant. We change the future by changing the way we think in the present. I will never look at children and their education the same way again.” So please get a copy of 2030 KIDS, read it and help us spread the word far and wide! Parents really can be effective in improving the education of their children, and so can everyone else. It is simply a question of awareness, and of competition brought about by School Choice! (And, if it agrees to use the book in their campaign for School Choice, we have offered permanently to assign all royalties from the book to EdChoice, which is the premier School Choice advocacy group in the country.)

In response to one of my sillyisms during a recent mediation, one of the attorneys raised one of her own, which was: “Why did the bank robber wear blue gloves? Because he didn’t want to be caught red-handed.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

Please listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely ssues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand at And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at, as is my wife Grace’s and my new novel centered about School Choice entitled 2030 KIDS: We are the Rising Heroes of the Planet. Please read and discuss them with your friends, and send in a review.