COVID Taught More Than 1 Million Parents the Value of School Choice
At least the pandemic had a silver lining.
It taught parents that there are better alternatives to government schools.
When COVID hit, bureaucrats in control were eager to close schools. Many closed them if just one child tested positive, even though COVID is little threat to kids.
Union teachers seemed eager to be paid not to work. Los Angeles teachers secured a contract that said they will “not be required to teach classes using live video conferencing” and won’t be required to “provide instruction more than four hours a day.” Nice work if you can get it.
More than a million parents chose to leave the government system. They spent their own money to educate their children in private and religious schools.
Others tried homeschooling.
Many had been skeptical but now discovered that their kids learned more, and their family life was enriched by teaching at home. The education establishment sneers at homeschooling, but homeschooled students, even though they are more likely to be poor, score 30 percent higher on SAT tests. They also do better in college, and they are less likely to drink or do drugs.
Finally, even within government systems, school choice grew.
Kansas and Missouri expanded access to charter schools.
Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota, Utah, and Tennessee expanded Education Savings Accounts, which help parents try private schools.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed “the most expansive school choice legislation in the nation.” It gives money to families that families can spend on private school, home schooling, micro schools, tutoring or any other educational service that meets the needs of kids. Any kid can qualify. The state simply gives the family what they would have spent in the public school
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