This mom created an education pod, and you can too

By Virginia Allen | The Daily Signal

For many families, home has become both office and school during the coronavirus pandemic. Parents across America are facing the challenge this fall of managing a full-time job with their child’s education. Memories of a chaotic spring have driven moms and dads to find creative solutions. Education pods are one way families can ensure their children still get a good education during the pandemic. (Interview begins at 05:45)

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Education
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4 thoughts on “This mom created an education pod, and you can too

  1. First of all, the parents of any child diagnosed with a disability can force their school district to provide appropriate education programs, even when the district doesn’t have one. In fact, the district is required to provide and pay the expense of these programs even when the programs are out-of-state.

    That being said, creating an education pod is what every parent should consider. The flexibility is virtually infinite. What is less certain is where the funding of doing this comes from. My wife and I established what today you might call and ‘education pod’ 15 years ago when our children were in high school. We hired a talented and willing teacher. But we paid for it, as did the other participating parents. The ‘pod’ we created replaced what was, by any description, a useless language arts program in the high school. Perhaps needless to say, our ‘pod’ was hugely successful, and we did it for several semesters.

    The other important point was how refreshing and fulfilling the ‘pod’ experience was for the teacher, not just academically and emotionally, but financially. By eliminating the bureaucracy, we were able to pay the teacher more per student than they would earn in their fulltime teaching job.

    This is what a free market in education looks like. No more expensive one-size-fits-all education experience. When the education marketplace is allowed to flourish with School Choice tuition vouchers, the innovation, financial efficiencies and academic outcomes will astound us.

    The first step, however, is redirecting education funding (tuition vouchers) to the parents to spend on behalf of their own children.

    • The pod is a fantastic plan for dedicated parents and their children and vouchers would be a good way to divert money from public schools. However, the downside could be the diversion of money to unethical parents establishing Pods to put money into their pockets at the expense to the child’s education.

      • Many districts in Vermont provide a ‘tuition voucher’ that parents designate to the school of their choice, public or private. The school has to be ‘approved’ by the Agency of Education. But the parents don’t actually handle the cash. They direct the State to pay their chosen school.

        Homeschooling is also regulated in Vermont. In a ‘pod’ system, the State would pay tuition to an ‘approved’ program on a per credit basis (Algebra I, Algebra II, etc.) instead of on a per school basis. Teachers would ‘advertise’ their areas of expertise and parents would separately, or in groups, sign their children up for the teacher’s program, much the same way college students in large universities do when they set up their courses each year for their chosen major. When the students receive the credits required, they graduate.

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