Eighty-five percent of parents send their children to a public school, yet only one third of parents would choose that same traditional public school option if they had the ability to go elsewhere.
School choice programs, which include charter schools, education savings accounts, vouchers, and tax credit scholarships, are making choices possible for an increasing share of families. What does this mean for you, your children, and the future of education in the United States? (This policy focus will cover various types of school choice programs, with the exception of charter schools. Charter schools will be the topic of a separate IWF policy focus.)
Many people think of school choice as a lifeline for the students who are worst-served by the current system—students mired in poverty, or stuck in academically-low performing schools in urban areas. But while those who are underserved by the education monopoly stand to gain the most from choice, educational freedom isn’t suited only for a subset of children.
The effects of making educational freedom available to more families are wide-ranging. From improved academic achievement and attainment to higher levels of civic altruism and tolerance for those different than oneself, and even lower crime rates among students later in life, school choice is changing lives and communities. This is also reflected in the high level of parental satisfaction measured in various school choice programs.
We must learn from the experience of different programs across states and expand access to the proven school choice policies, so that all American families can choose the best education for their children. Every family deserves maximum flexibility and freedom in education.