Mostly it seems like America is moving in the wrong direction when in comes to public policy:  Government is creating more regulations to govern just about every aspect of our lives and controlling more of our nation’s resources, leaving our country less free and less prosperous.

There is an important counter trend, however, in the education arena. In many parts of the country, states and localities are giving parents more options and the ability to control how their children are being educated.

Nevada is the biggest and latest example of this phenomenon, as the legislature just passed a bill to create universal education savings accounts.  These means that parents in Nevada will be able to opt out of the public school system and have a portion (at least 90 percent) of the money that would have been used to educate their children in the public school system deposited into an ESA.  That money can then be put toward education expenses, from tuition at an alternative school to tutoring and online services.  You can learn more specifics about the new law here.

This is great news for parents in Nevada and a cause for optimism for the rest of us.  Imagine how much our education system could improve if schools and other education providers had to compete for money?  Rather than having an education system that too often seems focused on serving the interests of the education bureaucracy and school's employees, we would find providers focused on providing parents and students real value. 

Let’s hope Nevada is the first of many states to pass such sweeping reforms to empower parents and encourage the development of a vibrant education marketplace.