Editor’s note: This commentary appeared earlier today on washingtonexaminer.com.
The education landscape has changed tremendously over the past several years, as school choice policies that fund students instead of systems have spread rapidly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Importantly, most of this increase has been with education savings accounts that can be used for a variety of educational expenses, not just tuition. This gives parents the ability to customize their children’s education to ensure their specific needs are met.
As policymakers debate school choice, they’re consistently met with opposition from entrenched interests who benefit from the status quo. Most prominent among these are teacher unions, school district administrators, and others who earn their livings off the current system. Curiously, the charges they level against school choice policies don’t seem to be of concern in other areas.
School choice opponents claim there isn’t accountability when you let parents choose their children’s educational path. Considering the lack of accountability in public schools today — in some school districts, reading and math proficiency are in the single digits — this is an interesting criticism of school choice.
Beyond that, do these critics lob similar complaints at other public programs? Taxpayer funds provide voucher-type programs to subsidize preschool and college, but school choice opponents do not call for ending these programs.
Instead, they’re often lobbying for increased government money in both sectors without stipulating private schools be excluded or need additional accountability provisions.
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