What Are the Prospects for School Choice Gains in 14 States?
Fourteen states are considering bills that would allow government funding to follow students wherever they are being taught, giving parents more freedom to choose schools for their kids.
This legislation would permit a portion of the funding that would otherwise go to a student’s assigned public school to be used for private tuition as well as for tutoring, textbooks, special-needs therapy, and other approved education expenditures.
The likelihood of these proposals becoming laws varies greatly from state to state, says Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website. The state legislatures of New Hampshire, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Nebraska, Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, and Kansas all have such bills pending. (More here.)
States with Republican-controlled legislatures, such as Missouri and Iowa, are typically more likely to pass school choice laws, DeAngelis tells Reason. Last Thursday, a school choice bill passed 5–4 through the Missouri senate education committee. Earlier this month, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, made school choice reform a major component of her annual Condition of the State Speech. Yet DeAngelis is less optimistic about states controlled by Democrats.
“It is not going to be serious in all of the states,” DeAngelis says. “For example, Oregon and Washington are heavily blue and
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