As long as kids are forced into one-size-fits-all classrooms and curricula, there will be angry battles tearing communities apart over what that one size is going to be and who it’s going to fit. So, school choice.
In three lawsuits currently in process, plaintiff parents ask that public funds follow their children to the school of their choice. The impetus for those suits was the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the landmark case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, announced last June.
More children are likely to have increased access to educational options after state legislators across the U.S. advanced a slew of bills this year expanding school choice, according to several state-by-state surveys. “This is a banner year for the educational choice movement,” Jason Bedrick, director of policy at Ed Choice, said.
The forced remote learning fiasco imposed on Vermont public school students this past year highlighted the lack of common benefits available from the state’s education system.
“Don’t assume that minorities can’t do for themselves,” Haley says. “We are perfectly capable of getting a photo ID. We’re perfectly capable of picking the school of our choice. We are perfectly capable of understanding how to make the most of our opportunities.”
While Republicans have struggled to get traction on school choice measures in Montpelier, we are starting to see success for our principles working themselves out on the local level. Elizabeth Cady ran for school board in the town of Essex and won running on a platform of supporting school choice.
After states shut down schools and forced families into virtual learning, parents and families found new ways to provide K-12 education to their children. While doing so, support for school choice options soared, a new poll from Real Clear Opinion Research found.
The number of Vermont students in the public K-12 system declined by 12 percent, falling from 85,079 to 74,930 students — a loss of over 10,000 kids. However, the number of students who tuitioned to approved independent schools increased in total from 3,701 to 3,842.
The report, released by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, found that so-called Educational Freedom Accounts could save the state’s taxpayers more than $6.5 million the first two years.
An online petition has been launched asking that the school board in Vernon allow residents to use their school choice tuition money to attend religious schools.
What do you suppose Vermont education would look like if the state gave two-thirds of the pre-pandemic $19,280 dollars per pupil per year to the parents, let the parents choose the education providers, and reduced the tax burden by $600 million dollars?
Republican lawmakers are making another push to expand private school options for students by redirecting state education aid, but the move faces pushback from Democrats and teachers’ unions who say it will hurt traditional public schools.