School Districts Abandoned Their Educational Mission During the Pandemic
- Many public school districts provided inadequate remote learning and minimal in-person instruction during the COVID pandemic, depriving students of the educational experience that they deserved.
- District leaders complied with teachers’ union demands, rather than prioritizing students and families. Teachers’ unions strive to expand their political power, raise funds, and to control working conditions. They do not aim to improve education.
- As a result, course failure rates skyrocketed, state testing failures increased, and students with disabilities’ scores and skills deteriorated.
Parents Are Engaging in Local School Board Elections
- School boards should be responsive to the needs of their communities, not unions. Frustrated parents formed advocacy groups in communities around the country, in order to ensure that unions did not drown out the voices of parents and students.
- Parents frustrated by poor pandemic leadership increasingly began to take action as the school closures continued. They started:
- Forcing the resignations of their district superintendents
- Choosing to run for school board
- Creating political action committees to fund school board candidate campaigns
- Taking steps to recall members of their existing school board
States Are Expanding Educational Options
- Public school enrollment decreased by 3% during the last school year. Homeschooling rates doubled to over 11% of the total school-aged population. Families in areas with perpetually closed public schools, but fully open private schools, eagerly transferred their children.
- State legislators recognized the soaring demand for educational options, and expanded or created new school choice programs in 20 states in 2021.
- School choice policies empower parents, rather than school board officials or district bureaucrats, to direct their children’s education.
- School choice programs should be expanded everywhere so that all families possess purchasing power to direct their children’s educational path, rather than remain beholden to district inertia and negligence.
Click here to read the full policy focus and learn more about the importance of empowering parents to control their children’s education.