It’s time to break the K-12 education monopoly. The absence of competition leaves families at the mercy of their assigned public schools. While the myriad of issues in the public schools was exposed in the last few years, there are also signs of progress and hope:
Politicization Over Quality Academics
During the Covid school shutdowns, parents had a front-row seat in their child’s classroom through the Zoom remote sessions. They witnessed the lack of quality academic learning taking place and how valuable teaching time was spent on political agendas. Students weren’t gaining strong skills in the basics—reading, writing, and math. Instead, they were fed left-wing politics, including radical gender ideology and Critical Race Theory.
Lack of Innovation
Free markets spur innovation, and in the case of public schools, innovation is glaringly lacking. Our schools operate largely as they did decades ago and are not entirely different from the inception of public education more than 175 years ago based on Horace Mann’s framework. The one-size-fits-all, industrial-era model remains today. Considering Horace Mann died decades before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the lack of innovation in K-12 education is astonishing.
The private sector is driving innovation in education. Just look at the creation of learning pods and microschools in response to the public schools remaining closed. Parents rallied with other families and educators and were creative. The rapid demand for microschools is not slowing. Now is the time for innovative business minds with a passion and vision for the future of education to step into this merging arena as educational entrepreneurs.
Universal School Choice
Looking back at 2022, one of the most transformational events was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signing universal school choice into law. As a result, all 1.1 million students in Arizona are free to learn through the educational avenue their parents select. Families receive funding to cover each child’s educational expenses—on average $7,000 per year. No longer are they held hostage by the powerful teachers’ unions.
In January, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed universal school choice into law in their respective states. Other states are on the cusp of passing similar legislation this session.
Progress is underway to break the K-12 education monopoly. Educational entrepreneurship coupled with policies that provide statewide universal school choice is American education’s exciting and much-needed transformational future.
For an in-depth discussion of these educational freedom developments, please watch: