Main menu


Why the Momentum for Educational Freedom Is Growing

featured image

W.With the new school year starting in the next few weeks, children have more educational freedom than ever before. Her two main reasons for this expansion stand out. The COVID pandemic and the national teachers union. These factors largely overlapped in that the teachers’ union had a significant impact on the school policies of the failed pandemic, and those policies forced more and more parents to seek help for their children outside the public school system. to look for alternative options.

public school in the last two years
decline admission
About 1.3 million students on a net basis participate, according to data tracked by the American Enterprise Institute and Davidson College. Arguably, this number would have been higher if more parents could afford to leave home.

Several states have passed policies to help families looking for an exit. Seven states created new private school choice programs and another 15 expanded existing programs.
according to
Go to Ed Choice. This helped him increase private school enrollment by 9% in just one year.And just last month, Arizona
It’s the largest expansion of educational freedom ever, creating an education savings account accessible to all students in the state. With this program, more than 1 million children are eligible to receive up to $7,000 in educational expenses that can be used for private school tuition, homeschooling fees, tutoring, and more.

The school selection campaign is in progress.

Congress is also stepping up efforts to give parents better choices. For example, earlier this summer, Senator Bill Cassidy (Republican-Los Angeles) and my late friend and former colleague Rep. Jackie Waroski (Republican-India)
Educational Choices Act for Children. This measure would significantly expand privately funded scholarships for students in grades K-12 by providing federal tax incentives for making charitable contributions to the scholarship fund.

But where school choice was successful, there was also great opposition. Her two national teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, have consistently opposed educational freedom and family choice. They do this in a myriad of ways, including pressure on lawmakers to block legislation and, failing that, filing lawsuits to block enforcement of the School Choice Act. They are pressuring local bodies such as school boards and city councils to refuse permits and funding for alternative education options such as charter schools.

But the teachers’ union’s claim to educational freedom has become worn and outdated, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. The polls reflect this. Support for all variations of school choice is becoming increasingly popular across all demographics and political parties.

For example, last month
Morning consultation
Two-thirds of Americans were found to support school choice policies if given an explanation.This result echoes OnMessage
Earlier this year, 75% of voters agreed that “parents should be in charge of their children’s education decisions” and 71% said “schools should focus on teaching the basics and promoting political philosophies.” should stop putting … [and] Parents should be able to transfer their children to another school if they think the school has become too political. Polls will struggle to find another issue on which the consensus is so strong.

Without realizing it, teachers’ unions are helping people come together supported About school choice. Parents know it’s the union that caused school closures due to the pandemic.
visible role
In the growing classroom culture wars. For example, at last month’s annual meeting, the NEA condemned the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion rulings for “climate justice,” proposed replacing the word “mother” with “birth parent,” and criticized critics. embraced the species theory and expressed support for unpopular pregnancy. Mandatory masks and vaccines.

AFT’s own latest
poll reveals
It’s the first time voters’ trust in education has tilted toward the Republican Party.

At least in part, this change is being driven by unprecedented adjustments in voter support for school choice. Republicans and Democrats alike would be wise to seize this opportunity if they want to give parents greater freedom in educating their children.

The result will be a stronger and freer future for our children and our country.

Luke Messer is a former U.S. Representative from Indiana and president of Invest in Education.
supports school choice policies to expand educational freedom for children.