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Free Minds & Free Markets

A Libertarian Builds Low-Cost Private Schools for the Masses (New at Reason)

Don't waste time arguing about public education, says Thales founder Bob Luddy. Head for the exits.

Bob Luddy was tired of trying to convince North Carolina educrats to improve the state's public schools, so he built his own network of low-cost private schools that the government can't meddle with.

A libertarian businessman based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Luddy made his fortune as the owner of the nation's leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems. CaptiveAire has factories in six states, and its 2016 revenues were $400 million. But what does fabricating stove hoods and building HVAC systems have in common with turning out successful students? More than you might think.

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National School Choice Week, an annual event promoting the ability of parents and students to have greater options in K-12 education, runs from January 22 through January 28. Over 21,000 events involving almost 17,000 schools from all 50 states will take place over the coming days. Go here to get more information about events and data about how increasing school choice--charters, vouchers, educational savings accounts, and more--is one of the best ways to improve education for all Americans. As a proud media sponsor of National School Choice Week, Reason will be publishing daily articles, podcasts, videos, interviews, and other coverage exploring the ways in which education is being radically altered and made better by letting more people have more choices when it comes to learning. For a constantly updated list of stories, go to Reason's archive page on "school choice."

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