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laws and regulations for private schools

WHATS WRONG WITH OUR SCHOOLS?

From “Free to Choose: A Personal Statement” | 1979/1980 Education has always been a major component of the American Dream. In Puritan New England, schools were quickly established, first as an adjunct of the church, later taken over by secular authorities. After the opening of the Erie Canal, the farmers who left the rocky hills […]

California

(As of September 26, 2014) Registration: Mandatory. Private schools are required to file an affidavit annually with the superintendent of public instruction between the first and fifteenth day of October. Cal. Educ. Code §33190. Length of School Year and Days: Children exempt from compulsory public school attendance under the Private School Affidavit must attend “full-time school.” The length […]

Where Governors Stand on School Choice 2018

Wondering where the nation’s newly elected or re-elected governors stand on education reform—and specifically on the issue of private school choice? We’ve collected their public and campaign statements here.  Keep in mind that past support or opposition to K-12 private school choice does not mean a proposal will succeed or fail, but a governor’s position serves as a likely […]

SELLING SCHOOL LIKE GROCERIES: THE VOUCHER IDEA

The New York Times Magazine | September 23, 1975 A fable may dramatize the true source of the nation’s present discontent with our public schools: Suppose that, 50 or 75 years ago the U.S. had adopted the same institutional arrangements for the distribution of food as it did adopt for elementary and secondary schools. Suppose, […]

Ep. 185: The Monthly Debrief - April Looking to May 2020

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s President and CEO Robert Enlow chats with Michael Schuttloffel, executive director of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). They discuss the state of private schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Integration Anomaly” Author Responds to Critics

My report, The Integration Anomaly, relies on dozens of empirical studies and logic from simulation models calibrated to real-world data to make a claim that universal school choice programs can be designed to promote greater race and class integration.  In recent decades, Americans have been making free choices in myriad areas that are leading to […]

New York

(As of October 6, 2015) Registration: Optional. The commissioner of education governs the registration of nonpublic high schools. 8 Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (CRR-NY) §13.1. Nonpublic schools are permitted to register. Only registered nonpublic high schools may issue diplomas and administer Regents Examinations. 8 CCR-NY 100.2(p). A nonpublic school […]

Ep. 157: Segregation Research with Brian Kisida

Brian Kisida, assistant professor at the University of Missouri, discusses his co-authored report, When is a School Segregated? Making Sense of Segregation 65 Years After Brown v. Board of Education.

Nebraska

(As of September 15, 2013) In Nebraska, a nonpublic school must be (a) accredited; (b) approved; or (c) receive an exemption from the Commissioner of Education from the requirements for the operation of approved private schools. Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: Under Nebraska’s compulsory education statute, a school term (year) must […]

Ep. 109: School Choice in Pop Culture – Last Man Standing

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our VP of External Relations Brian McGrath and CRM and Email Marketing Manager Abby Hayes take a look at Last Man Standing. They discuss school choice topics brought up in a a selection of episodes, including bilingual education, using a family member’s address to attend a non-district school, and […]

Hawaii

(As of July 2009) Registration: Mandatory. A school shall obtain a charter from the State of Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs and an excise tax license. Length of School Year and Day: Licensing organization sets length of school year or day requirements. Hawaii Council of Private Schools, “Standards and Procedures for the Approval of Hawaii […]

Ep. 54: NH Private School Survey with Drew Catt & Jason Bedrick

How many New Hampshire private schools know about the state’s current and proposed school choice programs? Are there even seats available for new students? And can families afford private school in New Hampshire? The answers to these questions might surprise you. Click below to listen to the authors of our latest brief, Exploring New Hampshire’s […]

How to Tell If You Can Afford Private School

Parents choose private schools for a lot of reasons. Maybe their local public school is not meeting their needs. Maybe they want a religious education for their child. Maybe they prefer a different instructional approach for their child. Does one of these describe your situation? Maybe sending your child to private school is the right […]

Ep. 166: Big Ideas with Neal McCluskey

Neal McCluskey, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute, sits down with us to discuss his essay, “Toward Conceptual and Concrete Understanding of the Impossibility of Religiously Neutral Public Schooling.” The piece was published in the Journal of School Choice in 2018.

Ep. 20: The Homogenization of Schools with Lindsey Burke & Corey DeAngelis

In this podcast, EdChoice’s Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt chats about the effects of school choice program regulations on the diversity—or homogenization—of schools with a recent report’s authors Lindsey Burke—director of the Center for Education policy for the Heritage Foundation, an EdChoice fellow and doctoral candidate at George Mason University—and Corey […]

Ep. 147: Big Ideas - "No One Way to School" with Ashley Berner

Ashley Berner, professor at Johns Hopkins University and deputy director of the Institute for Education Policy, discusses her book, No One Way to School. She unpacks how the United States moved from a pluralist education system to a uniform system.

Washington

(As of April 15, 2015) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: The minimum school year consists of no less than 180 school days or the equivalent in annual minimum program hour offerings, i.e. 450 hours in kindergarten, and 1,000 hours in grades 1–12. The state requirements relating to assigned percentages of total […]

Ep. 36: Cool Schools with the Partnership for Inner-City Education

In today’s EdChoice Chat, we continue our “Cool Schools” series with a conversation with Kathleen Porter-Magee. She heads the Partnership for Inner-City Education, which operates six Catholic schools in New York City. Katherine tells our Director of National Research Mike McShane about the Partnership’s community roots and how they’re helping century-old Catholic schools innovate.

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN EDUCATION

From Milton Friedman (1962/1982), Capitalism and Freedom (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press); earlier version (1955) in Robert A. Solo (Ed.), Economics and the Public Interest, pp. 123-144 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press). The general trend in our times toward increasing intervention by the state in economic affairs has led to a concentration of […]

Michigan

(As of July 2009) Registration: Mandatory. Nonpublic schools satisfying the compulsory school attendance statute must be approved by the state. Mich. Comp. Laws §380.1561(3)(a). Private schools are prohibited from discriminating against an individual based on a handicap that is unrelated to the individual’s ability to utilize and benefit from the school or the individual’s use […]

Tennessee

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirement. However, state law gives the commissioner of education authority and the duty to “inspect, approve and classify” private schools that request “such inspection, approval and classification.” TCA 49-1-201(19). See Approval, below. Length of School Year and Days: Church-related schools must be conducted for the same length of term […]

Ep. 44: Cool Schools with Seton Education Partners

In today’s Cool Schools episode of EdChoice Chats, Mike McShane chats with Stephanie Saroki de Garcia, co-founder of Seton Education Partners. Her job is to fill in gaps for Catholic schools across several cities by helping them improve school culture and implement successful blended learning programs. Seton also runs several secular charter schools with optional […]

Ep. 131: Big Ideas - Discussing the Book, "Education in the Marketplace"

Kevin Currie-Knight, teaching associate professor at East Carolina University, discusses topics in his book, Education in the Marketplace. He unpacks school choice in relation to market libertarianism, the segregation debate and more. He profiles school choice advocates like Milton and Rose Friedman, Murray Rothbard and Myron Lieberman.

West Virginia

(As of June 7, 2013) In West Virginia, nonpublic schools are classified as either exemption (b) or exemption (k) based on WV Code §18-8-1 (b) and §18-8-1 (k). Exemption (b) schools operate based on agreement with the county in which they are located. Exemption (k) schools operate based on compliance with WV Code §18-28. Registration: Optional only for exemption (b) nonpublic […]

Ep. 37: New SC Private School Survey with Shaunette Parker

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, Shaunette Parker, executive director of My South Carolina Education, joins us on the show to talk about a new private school survey report with one of the report’s co-authors, EdChoice Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt. They delve into common arguments for and against school choice […]

New Analysis Maps K–12 Schooling ‘Deserts’ in Choice-Rich Indiana

The authors of our latest report—Indiana’s Schooling Deserts—used Geographic Information System software to map families’ drive times to traditional public, magnet, charter and voucher-participating private schools. That first-of-its-kind mapping allowed us to identify where three kinds of “schooling deserts” exist: A-rated schooling deserts, meaning no A-rated schools of any kind are within a 30-minute drive […]

Wisconsin

(As of August 16, 2013) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: At least 875 hours of instruction each school year. Wis. Stats. §118.165(c). Private schools participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) and the Parental Private School Choice Program (PPSCP) must provide at least 1,050 hours of direct pupil instruction for […]

Ep. 63: Indiana's Schooling Deserts with Drew Catt, Mike Shaw & Robert Enlow

The authors of Indiana’s Schooling Deserts used Geographic Information System software to map Hoosier families’ drive times to traditional public, magnet, charter and voucher-participating private schools. That first-of-its-kind mapping allowed us to identify where three kinds of “schooling deserts” exist.

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Purchasing Power, 2019 Edition

Our team has never been shy about our focus on broad eligibility in school choice programs, but a program that’s open to all families is only as good as the purchasing power it provides those families. So how well are America’s private school choice programs funded? In this post, we rank the nation’s educational choice […]

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Purchasing Power, 2020 Edition

How well are America’s private school choice programs funded? In this post, we rank the nation’s educational choice programs by purchasing power based on data in the 2020 edition of The ABCs of School Choice. To rank programs by purchasing power, we compare each program’s most recent per-pupil spending to the state’s (or D.C.’s) average per-pupil spending […]

Pennsylvania

(As of July 10, 2013) Registration: Mandatory registration only applies to religious schools. Pennsylvania’s compulsory school attendance law requires K–12 schools that are owned or operated by, or under the authority of, bona-fide religious institutions to register with the department of education by filing a principal’s notarized certification or affidavit. The notarized document states that […]

Arkansas private schools need to know more about state’s new special needs voucher

Once informed, schools are eager to be part of educational choice program INDIANAPOLIS — Arkansas private schools have limited knowledge about a new voucher program launching there this fall, according to a new report released today by EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Exploring Arkansas’s Private Education Sector, which synthesizes responses from more […]

New Jersey

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements, generally. Length of School Year and Day: The New Jersey Department of Education does not regulate the length of school year for students attending nonpublic schools. State Approval: No requirements, generally. New Jersey law places registration requirements on a limited category of private schools that are not operated […]

Wyoming

(As of June 25, 2013) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: K–12 private schools must be open during the entire time that the public schools are in session in the district in which the pupil resides in order to satisfy compulsory attendance law. (Public schools are required by statute to operate 175 days […]

Utah

(As of June 24, 2015) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: Optional. The Utah State Office of Education (USOE) is responsible for facilitating accreditation of the Board for Utah public schools. The Board […]

Ep. 168: Cool Schools with Grace Prep

To kick off Season 3 of our Cool Schools series, Mike McShane chats with Chris Harper, head of school of Grace Prep. This school, located in Arlington, Texas, was the first university model-school to open in America.

Kansas

(As of June 24, 2015) Registration: Registration is mandatory for non-accredited private schools. The official custodian of every non-accredited private elementary or secondary school must register the name and address of the private elementary or secondary school with the Kansas State Board of Education. The purpose of that provision is to make available the name […]

Maryland

(As of June 13, 2014) Registration: Mandatory. Institutions operated by bona fide church organizations are exempt from the requirement to hold a certificate of approval from the Maryland State Board of Education if the legal authority of the bona fide church organization chooses. The head of the bona fide church organization must, however, register the […]

Ep. 39: Cool Schools with Open Sky Education

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Director of National Research Mike McShane features another “Cool School,” Open Sky Education. He talks with Executive Chair and CEO Andrew Neumann about the network’s model, which runs both charter and private schools, as well as providing childcare and after school character education programs to thousands of kids across […]

Texas

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: Accredited private schools must meet or exceed the minimum seat time required of public schools. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: Optional. The accreditation of nonpublic schools through the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) became effective on Feb. 12, 1986. Accreditation […]

Ep. 140: Big Ideas with Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart—some may know him as Citizen Stewart—discusses what education reformers can learn from the Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald schools initiative. Stewart is the CEO of Education Post and founder of Citizen Ed, a weekly education reader that focuses on publishing stories about public schooling from people of color.

America's School Choice Programs Ranked by Purchasing Power, 2018 Edition

We’ve given our readers an overview of educational choice programs across the nation this week with rankings based on eligibility and participation. But one major question still remains: How well are these programs funded? The best educational choice policies make as many children as possible eligible to participate, but also empower families to truly afford […]

Breaking Down "Public Rules on Private Schools"

“Regulators, mount up!”  That line from a popular western film, used later in a famous hip-hop song, is not generally thought of as one directed toward private schools. Indeed, many school choice opponents claim private schools are unregulated, particularly schools participating in voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs. But au contraire mon frères et sœurs. In examining […]

Oregon

(As of 1993) Registration: Registration requirements are set out in detail at Or. Admin. R. 581-45-500 through 581-45-580. Representation by a private school that it is registered when it is not a registered private school is a misdemeanor. Or. Rev. Stat. §345.990(2). Registration is renewable annually on or before October 15. Or. Admin. R. 581-45-500. […]

Ep. 56: School Choice in Pop Culture – The West Wing

We are excited to kick off a new video and podcast series—School Choice in Pop Culture—where our team chats about how school choice is represented in popular TV shows and movies. In this episode, two fans of The West Wing, our Director of National Research Mike McShane and our CRM and Email Marketing Manager Abby […]

Ep. 101: The Private School Teacher Skills Gap with Mike McShane

More than 480,000 private school educators in the U.S. teach more than 4.9 million K–12 students, and with private school choice programs on the rise, we expect those numbers to continue growing. The questions our latest report—The Private School Teacher Skills Gap—answers: What skills do private school educators need to be successful, and are they […]

America's School Choice Programs Ranked by Purchasing Power, 2016 Edition

We’ve given our readers an overview of school choice programs across the nation this week with rankings based on eligibility and family participation. But one major question still remains: How well are these programs funded? The best school choice policies make as many children as possible eligible to participate, but also empower participants to truly afford […]

Alaska

(As of July 31, 2013) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: Exempt schools must operate on a regular schedule excluding reasonable holidays and vacations during at least 180 days of the year. Alaska Stat. §14.45.110(b). Non-exempt private schools must comply with the laws and regulations relating to education. Alaska Stat. §14.45.030. A public school term must include […]

Ep. 113: Discussing School Climate, Parent Involvement and More Findings from Recent Survey

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, EdChoice Vice President of Research and Innovation talks with the two authors of our recently released report, Families’ Experiences on the New Frontier of Educational Choice. Drew Catt, our director of state research and special projects, and Albert Cheng, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, discuss the most interesting […]

North Carolina

(As of January 28, 2013) Registration: Mandatory. A new school must send to a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school’s owner and chief administrator. Similarly, a school that is closing must notify a duly authorized […]

Nevada

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: A licensed private school must have a school year of at least 180 school days. NAC 394.215. A licensed private school must have a school day in session consistent with the following minimum daily periods for each grade, including recess and time […]

Ep. 64: Researcher Profile - Corey DeAngelis

In today’s EdChoice Chat, our own Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis Marty Lueken talks with Cato Institute Policy Analyst Corey DeAngelis about what drew him to school choice, his educational career and his upcoming research.

Ep. 136: Big Ideas - "How The Other Half Learns" with Robert Pondiscio

Robert Pondiscio, vice president for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, unpacks ideas in his newest book, How The Other Half Learns: Equality, Excellence, and the Battle Over School Choice. His book focuses on Success Academy, the largest charter school network in New York City. He spent time at Bronx 1—a school he […]

South Dakota

(As of November 25, 2015) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: Each local school board shall set the number of days in a school term, the length of a school day, and the number of school days in a school week. The local school board or governing body shall establish the number […]

Friday Freakout: Are Nevada Secular Private Schools Affordable with ESAs?

As the rollout of Nevada’s nearly-universal education savings accounts (ESAs) continues, parents have plenty of questions. We saw some great ones in response to this July article detailing the ESA’s early application period. One conversation between commenters caught our attention: Last month, we released a new report—Exploring Nevada’s Private Education Sector. Today’s freakout answers many […]

Ep. 121: Choice in the States - Florida with Doug Tuthill

In this episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick chats with Doug Tuthill from Step Up for Students in Florida. They discuss an array of Florida’s scholarship programs, pending lawsuits and more.

U.S. States Ranked by Educational Choice Share

We are introducing a new calculation to our school choice program rankings this year: educational choice share, or “edchoice share.” The calculations behind this ranking seek to answer one question: Which states have the highest and lowest percentage of students exercising their educational freedom through private school choice programs? To get this number, we divided […]

Florida

(As of April 15, 2015) Registration: Mandatory. The chief administrator of each private school must complete an annual database survey and file it with the Florida Department of Education (FDE). §1002.42, Florida Statute (F.S.). Length of School Year and Days: Attendance at a private school satisfies the compulsory school attendance law if the child maintains […]

Ep. 164: Big Ideas – "Child Safety Accounts" with Vicki Alger

In this episode of our Big Ideas series, Vicki Alger discusses her co-authored book, Child Safety Accounts: Combating Student Bullying and School Violence by Empowering Parents. She goes in-depth on subjects related to student bullying, teacher bullying, sexual misconduct and more. Listener discretion is advised.

Maine

(As of November, 20, 2012) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: A private secondary school approved for the purposes of attendance must have at least 175 instructional days. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. title 20-A, §4801.1 State Approval: Mandatory. Attendance at a private school satisfies the compulsory attendance requirement only if the private […]

Exploring Arizona’s Private Schools After Nearly Two Decades of Educational Choice

The Grand Canyon State is a pioneer when it comes to educational choice. Arizona has been home to the nation’s first universal school choice program for nigh on two decades—the Original Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program. This tax-credit scholarship program is open to all K–12 students and even some prekindergarteners. And in 2011, Arizona […]

America's School Choice Programs Ranked By Purchasing Power

We’ve helped our readers see how many families are eligible for school choice programs across the country and those who actually participate. Until now, the question still remained: Which programs realistically give families the financial ability to choose something other than their zoned public school? Read on for the final installment in our series of […]

Ep. 138: Choice in the States - Indiana with Robert Enlow

Robert Enlow, who has been with EdChoice since it’s initial founding as the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice in 1996, talks with our Director of Policy Jason Bedrick. They discuss some of the early school choice legislation in Indiana and more.

Ep. 134: Choice in the States - Ohio with Chad Aldis

In this episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick talks with Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy at The Fordham Institute. They discuss the growth of Ohio’s 15-year-old school choice program, the Autism Scholarship Program, and the journeys of the state’s four other programs.

THE VOUCHER CHALLENGE

“The School Choice Advocate” | January 2004 Those of us who have long worked to promote educational choice have mixed feelings when we observe the current scene. On the one hand, sprouts of educational vouchers keep breaking through the cement of teacher union opposition all over the place — the latest possibly due to sprout […]

Washington D.C.

(As of July 15, 2015) Registration: No requirements.   Length of School Year and Days: Schools must provide satisfactory evidence to the superintendent of schools that the amount of instruction, i.e. the number of hours per day, days per week, and weeks per year, is acceptable to the board. The instruction need not be given […]

Ep. 19: The Pension Crisis with Michael Podgursky & Marty Lueken

In today’s episode, Dr. Marty Lueken, our own director of fiscal policy and analysis, chats with Dr. Michael Podgursky, professor of economics at the University of Missouri. The two break down teacher pensions—how they work, why they’ve created problems and how school choice can help.

New Survey Says Parents Can Get Mo' Satisfaction with School Choice

To maintain and grow enrollment, school leaders need to know whether parents are satisfied with the education their children are receiving and the learning environment in which it takes place. Studying parent satisfaction is by no means new; it is often an included outcome in a variety of school choice research as a secondary outcome.1 This […]

Kentucky

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirement. Length of School Year and Day: The school term for private and parochial schools may not be shorter than the term of the local public school district; if the school operates year-round then the minimum term is 185 days that includes no less than the equivalent of 177 […]

Ep. 153: Mean Tweets with Robert Enlow and Drew Catt

In the first episode of our Mean Tweets series, Robert Enlow and Drew Catt read tweets and offer commentary and insight regarding some of the top issues in education. For a different podcast experience, check out the video recording of this episode.

Ep. 61: Cool Schools with Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School

In today’s EdChoice Chat, Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Thomas Moran, Jr., the president and CEO of a growing Catholic school in inner-city New Orleans. They talk about how the school started and is growing, how they manage to keep tuition free and what they’re doing to close achievement gaps.

Rhode Island

(As of June, 25, 2013) Registration: Mandatory. Registration with the office of the department of elementary and secondary education is required for all private schools. The registry must show the location, name, director or principal of school, grade span, enrollment, school approval status, and other pertinent facts. RIGL §§16-40-11, 16-97 et. seq. Length of School […]

Connecticut

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year. State Approval: Optional. In order to obtain state approval, nonpublic schools must be accredited by a state approved accrediting agency. Each accrediting agency has its own criteria for accrediting […]

Ep. 53: Fiscal Issues in LA Unified with Lisa Snell

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of Fiscal Policy Dr. Marty Lueken talks with Lisa Snell, education director at the Reason Foundation, about a report she coauthored that examines the fiscal outlook of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Short story: It’s not a sunny picture. Listen to hear Marty and Lisa discuss […]

Massachusetts

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: Massachusetts‘ law does not specify a required length of school year for private schools, but the school committee will use the public school‘s required length of school year (180 days or 900 hours in elementary schools and 990 hours at secondary schools) […]

Breaking Down "The Chartered Course"

Is there a “tidal wave” coming for private school choice, as some have suggested? No doubt since the Wall Street Journal declared 2011 “The Year of School Choice,” policymakers’ actions creating and expanding such programs are rising—as is interest among parents. But are private education providers prepared to navigate this new environment? In The Chartered […]

New Research on School Segregation Shows Startling Trends

Six decades after the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education, many students still attend schools that are segregated by race or class. And this isn’t just a problem because greater integration is, in and of itself, a worthwhile goal for society. It’s a problem because research shows that African-American students, especially males, concentrated […]

Ep. 46: Cool Schools with Urban Prep

In today’s Cool Schools episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Pastor Wade Moore, the founder of Urban Prep. Pastor Moore describes how he started the school and how it’s overcome many challenges in its first four years of operating.

Missouri

(As of April 23, 2013) Registration: Limited to those nonpublic schools that participate in federal and state grant programs. Length of School Year and Day: Students in Missouri have the opportunity to enroll at public, private, parochial, parish, and home schools or a combination of the above. State law requires compulsory school attendance between the ages […]

Ep 7: Where We Stand on Federal Education Reform Policy with Robert Enlow

Thank you for joining us for another episode of EdChoice Chats. In this episode, our Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner is joined by our guest EdChoice CEO and President Robert Enlow to discuss what’s going on in federal education reform policy and where EdChoice stands. Listen below to learn more.

Arkansas

(As of September 2012) Registration: No requirements. In order to found an institution of learning, it must be incorporated under the name listed in the institution’s articles of association. “Any number of persons, the multiple of three (3), not less than six (6) nor more than thirty-three (33),” must be on the board to incorporate. Ark. […]

Friday Freakout: Parent vs Parent

A North Carolina judge recently ruled the state’s voucher program unconstitutional. Today we have two freakouts from two very different parents commenting on the News & Observer article, “NC to appeal ruling banning taxpayer money for private schools.” On the positive side, it is wonderful Ms. Forbes is involved in her children’s education and they […]

Friday Freakout: Are Private Schools Worth the Money?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently shared some school choice love, so we did as well—on our Facebook page:  We acknowledge that Sen. Warren is most interested in universal public school choice rather than private, but it bears repeating that Sen. Warren’s “all-voucher system” would indeed shake up the status quo by putting the funding focus on […]

Ep. 158: Big Ideas with Phil Magness

Phil Magness, senior research fellow with the American Institute of Economic Research, discusses the history of school choice and critics’ claims of segregationist roots. Magness delves into this and more in his co-authored essay, “School Vouchers, Segregation, and Consumer Sovereignty.”

What We Can Do About School Choice’s Supply-Side Problem

If you build it, they will come. A memorable line, a memorable scene. But what happens if you know they’ll come, and you just can’t get it built in a timely fashion? In one of our recent reports, The Private School Landscape, we tested the theory that educational choice programs that increase access to private […]

Top Findings from "Exploring Nevada's Private Education Sector"

The creation of Nevada’s first school choice programs could be considered the “tipping point” for the private school choice movement. With legislators creating both the Educational Choice Scholarship Program and the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) program this year, Nevada became the 26th state to enact a private school choice program. Most important, the state’s ESA […]

Ep 6: Studying Families’ Access to Schools with Kristin Blagg

Our Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt is back with a new EdChoice Chat. In this episode, Kristin Blagg, research associate in the Education Policy Program at the Urban Institute, joined him to discuss the recent report she co-authored with Matthew Chingos: Who Could Benefit from School Choice? Mapping Access to Public […]

Incubators Deliver Talent and Time to Grow Great Schools

Among the key ingredients for growing high-quality schools are a pipeline of talented leaders with the vision and skillset for launching those schools, and adequate time for those leaders to implement their ideas.  In the charter sector, incubators have cropped up to help provide the assets of talent and time, leading to the creation of […]

What's in "The School Starter Checklist"?

 “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell, founder of […]

School Choice in Pop Culture: Yes, Prime Minister

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our President and CEO Robert Enlow and our Director of Policy Jason Bedrick discuss one iconic episode of the BBC’s Yes, Prime Minister which is about—as the show says—“the political will versus the administrative won’t.” Bedrick and Enlow go beyond the messages in this hilarious episode of television, sharing […]

Ep 90: School Choice in Pop Culture – Yes, Prime Minister

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our President and CEO Robert Enlow and our Director of Policy Jason Bedrick discuss one iconic episode of the BBC’s Yes, Prime Minister which is about—as the show says—“the political will versus the administrative won’t.”

Keeping Up with Indiana Private Schools of Choice

Indiana could be considered the “pace car” in the private school choice race among states. But as any racing fan will know, not all tracks are the same, which is why the Friedman Foundation launched its School Survey Series to examine states’ private education sectors, starting with Indiana. Exploring Indiana’s Private Education Sector synthesizes information collected […]

Is Swedish School Choice Disastrous - or Is the Reading of the Evidence?

Editor’s note: Some of the author’s sources link to studies that appear in Swedish. Debate over “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and which film is better—America’s version or Sweden’s—comes down to one’s opinion. The same can’t be said for disagreements over Swedish school choice. Upon investigating the available research—just as Stieg Larsson’s protagonist would—the conclusion […]

Ep. 156: Our 2020 School Choice Yearbook Superlatives

There’s no better time to reflect on recent school choice happenings and look forward to a new year than during National School Choice Week. As we do every year, the EdChoice team got together to vote on yearbook superlative categories, such as Most Inspiring, Biggest Setback and our newest recognition, Most Likely to Expand, in […]

Ep. 104: Nevada K–12 and School Choice Poll with Don Soifer

Nevada Action for School Options, EdChoice and Braun Research, Inc. teamed up recently to survey Nevadans on their views about K–12 education issues. The recently released report reveals what Nevadans think about public schools, school choice programs and more. Learn more about the findings and what they mean locally in this podcast with Nevada Action […]

Ep. 191: A Chat with Families Empowered

In this episode, we are joined by team members at Families Empowered, a Texas organization with a mission to help all families gain access to schools that work for them. We take a deep dive into what the experts know about why and how families choose education settings for their kids.

Ep. 16: New Research on Charter School Funding Inequity with Pat Wolf

In our latest podcast, EdChoice’s Drew Catt talks with Dr. Patrick Wolf, who has researched various forms of school choice for decades. Dr. Wolf explains the results of his latest co-authored report, Charter School Funding Inequity in New York City. Listen to get a summary of the report’s findings. Then, click here to check out […]

Ohio

(As of April 7, 2015) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: Students enrolled in schools other than public schools must attend them for the equivalent hours and term of attendance required of public school students. Ohio DOE guidance states that, at a minimum, schools must provide instruction for not less than 455 […]

Ep. 94: Our 2019 School Choice Yearbook Superlatives

There’s no better time to reflect on recent school choice happenings and look forward to a new year than during National School Choice Week. As we do every year, the EdChoice team got together to vote on yearbook superlative categories, such as Most Inspiring, Biggest Setback and Most Likely to Succeed in 2019. To see […]

WHO WINS, WHO LOSES - A LOOK AT THE FUTURE

“The School Choice Advocate” | July 1998 Time: Five years after a populous jurisdiction has adopted a comprehensive voucher program. The voucher has a value equal, let us say, to one-half of spending per child in government-run schools, and can be used at any recognized public or private school, secular or religious, non-profit or for-profit. […]

Ep. 49: Rethinking Regulation with Mike McShane

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of State Research and Special Projects Drew Catt discusses our newest research with the author and EdChoice’s Director of National Research Mike McShane. The new report is called Rethinking Regulation, and in it, McShane posits a four-step solution to optimizing how we regulate schools and education providers […]

Illinois

(As of December 1, 2014) Registration: Optional. Nonpublic schools in Illinois may register with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on an annual basis. A school registering must submit assurances of compliance for federal and state laws regarding health examinations, immunizations, attendance, length of term, nondiscrimination, and applicable fire and health safety requirements. 105 […]

What School Choice Advocates Should Learn from the New Study of Ohio’s Vouchers

A recent study led by Northwestern economist David Figlio on Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program is a case of good news and bad news. To be sure, it provides an occasion to celebrate the positive findings. But the less favorable results should cause us to pause and consider ways to strengthen school voucher policy. This […]

How to Maximize Private School Supply in Choice Programs

At the International School Choice Research and Reform Academic Conference this month, researchers, practitioners, and advocates convened to compare and contrast the state of school choice in the U.S. and across many European and South American countries. One thing was clear — the conversation around school choice has shifted to implementation. Private school choice programs […]

Can School Choice Keep Children Safe from Bullying?

Twelve-year-old Mallory Grossman recently ended her own life rather than endure any more bullying from peers at her school. According to her family, the bullying had gone on for months. They’d reported it to school officials who, they believe, did not take it seriously, and the parents are suing the school district they believe neglected […]

South Carolina

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: There is no state requirement for private schools’ length of the school year. State Approval: Optional. Approval by the state board of education is one alternative to satisfy South Carolina’s compulsory school attendance statue. Attendance at a nonsectarian private school satisfies South […]

Vermont

(As of October 6, 2014) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: At least 175 days. 16 Vermont Statutes Annotated (VSA) §1071. School year is defined under Vermont’s general provisions as beginning July 1 and ending the next June 30. 16 VSA §11(12). State Approval or Recognition: One of the two is. An […]

Virginia

(As of September 23, 2014) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: 180 days or 990 teaching hours. Va. Code §22.1-254. State Approval: Optional. Approval is one option to satisfy the licensing requirement for private schools serving students with disabilities. 8VAC20-670-40. State Accreditation: Optional. The board of education does not accredit private schools; […]

Ep. 146: Choice in the States - North Carolina with Terry Stoops

In this episode, we speak with Terry Stoops, the vice president of research and director of education studies at the John Locke Foundation in North Carolina. He discusses the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program and most recent school choice program.

Idaho

(As of November 25, 2015) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: To comply with the Idaho compulsory attendance statute, attendance at a private or parochial school must be “during a period in each year equal to that in which public schools are in session.” Idaho Code §33-202. State Approval: No requirements. State […]

The Next Accountability Part 5: How We Get What We Want

  District schools, charter schools and private schools, and the teachers who educate within them, need accountability if they’re going to perform their best. The technocratic paradigm of accountability—testing-driven centralization of control—can’t deliver the educational outcomes that matter most. Because technocracy doesn’t build on the things we have in common as human beings and fellow […]

Education Market Failure? The Cost of Regulations on Private School Choice Programs

An Analysis of the Louisiana Scholarship Program Achievement Findings “The approach has been to regard any market failure, however minor, as a sufficient excuse for government intervention. The market has failed, therefore the government should step in. But this is a basic error, because it involves a double standard. There is not only such a […]

Ep. 103: Researcher Profile - Danish Shakeel

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis Marty Lueken talks with Harvard post-doctoral student and researcher Danish Shakeel about his history with school choice and what research he has in the pipeline.

New Estimates of Statewide School Vouchers' Competitive Effects on Public Schools

School choice skeptics often raise concerns about the students who are “left behind” in traditional public schools when statewide school vouchers are enacted. What will become of those kids whose parents, some claim, weren’t savvy enough, sufficiently motivated, or simply didn’t have the time or resources to apply for a private school voucher? And what […]

Friday Freakout: Public Schools Good, Private Schools Bad

A recent Huffington Post article, “‘School Choice’ — As Long as Your Child Doesn’t Have a Disability,” shows just how passionate many are when it comes to ensuring students with special needs are receiving the education they deserve.  But that HuffPo piece also perpetuated a common myth: Only public schools can adequately serve children with […]

Schooling in America Series: Getting to Know School Parents

Parents tend to be satisfied with their local public schools but want more options for their children at the same time. That may seem like a contradiction, but years of our annual survey and participation in school choice programs help back this up.    That’s one trend that seems consistent, but parents aren’t a predictable […]

Friday Freakout: School Choice Passes the Rotary Four-Way Test

Surprisingly, three Texas politicos recently argued that school choice policies fail all four aspects of the Rotary test. Instead, former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff and two of his sons, Texas State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff and Public Education Committee member Bennett Ratliff, claimed that assigned district schools are “the only answer that […]

The Next 200 Years: Studying the Long-Term Effects of Catholic-to-Charter “Conversion”

In 2014, Andrew Kelly and I wrote Sector Switchers: Why Catholic Schools Convert to Charters and What Happens Next, an examination of 18 formerly Catholic schools that had “converted” (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) into charter schools. With the recent news that the much-vaunted Jubilee Catholic schools in Memphis were looking to pursue the Catholic-to-charter […]

Everyone Loves To Hate Fancy Private Schools

By Jennifer Wagner It’s always easy to hate the rich and their fancy private schools. It’s even easier in tough economic times when unemployment is high and the future is uncertain. So when the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance last month for the distribution of $13.5 billion in federal pandemic aid to all schooling types based […]

Tennessee – Education Savings Account Pilot Program

Tennessee’s Education Savings Account Pilot Program, enacted in 2019 and launching by the 2021–22 school year, is the state’s first voucher and second private school choice program. The state-funded voucher is available to students from low- and middle-income households in Memphis and Nashville who are switching out of a public district or charter school or […]

Are Wisconsin Schools Safe?

At the heart of school accountability is quality. The burn is, who decides quality? What’s relieving about school choice is the ability for families to decide that definition for themselves. And as a new study from Wisconsin shows, their reasons are not always limited to academics. Under Secretary Arne Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education […]

Ep. 169: A Conversation with Rick Hess

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute joins EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow to discuss their involvement in the school choice movement over the past 20 years. They examine past messaging, re-framing the way we talk about school choice and more.

Ep. 129: Researcher Profile - John Merrifield

John Merrifield unpacks topics in his book, The School Choice Wars (2001), and previews his new book, School System Reform: Why and How Is a Price-less Tale, coming out this fall.

Ep. 41: Public School Choice Research with Christine Campbell & Georgia Heyward

In today’s EdChoice Chat, our Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt talks with two researchers from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Georgia Heyward and Christine Campbell. They talk about their new report, Stepping Up: How Are American Cities Delivering on the Promise of Public School Choice.

Mapping Drive Times from Private Schools in New Hampshire

New Hampshire already has a tax-credit scholarship and town tuitioning, and according to recent survey data, many existing New Hampshire private schools are open to participating in a general education savings account (ESA) program, another form of flexible private school choice. But where exactly are New Hampshire private schools located? Which communities have private schools, […]

Five Talking Points on School Vouchers

“How could anyone be for private school vouchers? Aren’t they just a corporate scheme to privatize and defund our public schools?” your mom friend asks as the kids play on the jungle gym. We’re no stranger to loaded questions like these, and you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. Next […]

Private School Leaders Respond to Critics: Steve Hicks of Center Academy

In our first installment, Center Academy’s Vice President of Operations Steve Hicks responds to common criticisms of school choice and private schools. Center Academy is a small private school in Florida for students with unique needs who were falling behind academically or just through the cracks at their previous schools. The academy has been educating […]

School Voucher Systems Across the Globe Make the Case for School Choice in the U.S.

The debate about school choice is often animated in the United States, but critics of the idea may be surprised to learn that school voucher programs are quite common in the rest of the economically developed world.  Twenty-five Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, a club of mostly wealthy nations, have vouchers or […]

What Are Private School Management Organizations?

My colleagues and I came across private school management organizations (PSMOs) in the course of our research for a Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice report, “The Chartered Course,” in 2013. Back then, we sought to understand what private school choice could learn from the charter school sector. But what we discovered is that private schools […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – February 2020

Last month was a busy one for school choice in the states. Let our state and legal teams help you stay up to date on the latest in our monthly brief.   FEDERAL UPDATE   On Feb. 20, Leslie Hiner testified before lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service in opposition to a regulation proposed by […]

Friday Freakout Mailbag: Tennessee Edition

Lawmakers in Tennessee are currently considering legislation to create a modest school voucher program. Students from low-income families assigned to the “lowest-performing” district schools who had been enrolled in that school or were entering a Tennessee school for the first time would be eligible for scholarships worth up to the amount of per-pupil spending at […]

Colorado

(As of July 2009) Registration: Mandatory. All nonpublic schools must register with the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704. Length of School Year and Day: There is no state requirement for nonpublic schools’ length of school year. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: No requirements. Licensing: No requirements. Curriculum: Under the Compulsory Education Statute, […]

Delaware

(As of July 2009) Registration: Mandatory. All nonpublic schools must register with the state. Del. Code Ann., Title 14, §2704. Length of School Year and Day: There is no state requirement for nonpublic schools’ length of school year. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: No requirements. Licensing: No requirements. Curriculum: Under the Compulsory Education Statute, […]

Ep 10: How Regs Hurt Kids with Special Needs with Jennifer Burgess

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, Jennifer Burgess, a Georgia mother of three who’s fighting for educational options for her 4- and 5-year-old sons John and Joseph, joins EdChoice Marketing Coordinator Abby Hayes, also a mother, to discuss—from a parent’s perspective—the strengths and weaknesses of our current public education system when it comes to serving […]

Ep. 95: The Future of K–12 Funding with Marty Lueken and James Shuls

There is not a single state, yet, that has achieved an equitable, efficient and opportunity-focused K–12 funding system, according to the authors of our latest report. In The Future of K–12 Funding, education finance Marty Lueken and James Shuls envisioned a new, practical way for policymakers to improve state K–12 education funding systems based on […]

Exploring Nebraska's Private Education Sector: Top Three Findings

Growing up, the only things I knew about Nebraska were Cornhusker football and Tom Osborne (which are synonymous in most people’s minds). When I was older, I bought a steer that was raised in Nebraska at a 4-H auction, where I learned more about Nebraskan farming. Now every June, I eagerly anticipate (virtually) travelling to […]

Mapping Drive-Times from Private Schools in South Carolina

South Carolina already has a tax-credit scholarship and individual tax credit for families of students with special needs, and existing South Carolina private schools seem open to participating in a general education savings account (ESA) program, another form of flexible private school choice. But where exactly are South Carolina private schools located? Which communities have […]

Indiana Parent Survey finds Hoosier private school and school choice parents overwhelmingly satisfied with nation’s largest voucher program

Parents report increased community and school engagement, say choice program is easy to use INDIANAPOLIS — The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice today released Why Parents Choose, a survey of more than 2,000 Indiana private school and school choice parents on Tuesday. Indiana is home to the largest voucher program in the United States. Read […]

Why Shaming School Choice Parents Will Hurt Your Community

I find myself this year in the interesting position of kindergarten shopping for my 5-year-old daughter. Besides the expected “I can’t believe she’s this big already” nostalgia, there’s an element of confusion—even angst—as we try to find her best educational fit. This does not stem from a lack of good choices. We have at least […]

Ep. 139: Big Ideas - "Why Meadow Died" with Max Eden

In this episode, we talk with the co-author of Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students. He discusses student disability policies, pressures on institutions to ‘look as though they have no problems,’ and more in light of recent school shootings.

Ep. 142: Choice in the States - Pennsylvania with Marc LeBlond and Andy LeFevre

In this episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick talks with Marc LeBlond and Andy LeFevre. They discuss the tax-credit scholarship programs and next steps for school choice in Pennsylvania. LeBlond is the senior policy analyst at the Commonwealth Foundation, and LeFevre is the former executive director of the […]

SURVEY: Private School Response to COVID-19

America’s K–12 schools have undergone a massive shift over the past two months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools, teachers and students are doing many things today that they were not doing—or even planning for—on March 1. So far, a lot has been written, webinar-ed  and Zoomed during this time. To keep up with the […]

Ep. 144: 2019 Schooling In America Survey - A Chat with the Authors

The seventh annual edition of our Schooling in America Survey with Braun Research launched today. Get caught up on the key findings according to the report’s authors—Paul DiPerna, Drew Catt and Mike Shaw—on your commute, over lunch or whenever you listen to your podcasts.

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan for America's Public Schools

School teachers and leaders at America’s public schools typically don’t place much value in private school choice’s worth. However, that education policy could raise their own stock considerably—and literally. As school choice grows, a teacher investment proposal introduced long ago deserves revisiting. Teachers’ unions and school district representatives spend millions of dollars advocating and lobbying against […]

New Mexico

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: Persons subject to the Compulsory School Attendance Law must attend school for at least the length of time of the school year that is established in the school district in which the person is a resident. 22-12-2 NMSA 1978. State Approval: No […]

Friday Freakout: Does School Choice Increase Inequality?

When Nevada enacted the nation’s first nearly universal education savings accounts (ESAs), education reformers celebrated. ESAs empower families to tailor their children’s education to meet their individual learning needs and have the potential to unleash a wave of innovation. Others, however, have been less enthusiastic. Perhaps the most common concern is the one raised recently […]

Ep. 190: Cool Schools with Prenda Micro-schools

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, Mike McShane brings on Kelly Smith of Prenda micro-schools and Sarah Raybon of the Arizona School Tuition Organization to talk about Prenda’s new and innovative approach to education. Want to see what a typical day at Prenda looks like? Click here.

Summarizing 2017’s National K–12 Education and School Choice Surveys

School choice programs received high marks from Americans in 2017.   Five national, highly discussed polls detailed a wide range of public opinion results regarding American education this year. Gallup, the Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center (AP-NORC), Education Next (EdNext), Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) and EdChoice all measured what the public thinks about education and […]

PUBLIC SCHOOLS: MAKE THEM PRIVATE

Our elementary and secondary educational system needs to be radically reconstructed. That need arises in the first instance from the defects of our current system. But it has been greatly reinforced by some of the consequences of the technological and political revolutions of the past few decades. Those revolutions promise a major increase in world […]

Ep 5: Back to the Staffing Surge with Ben Scafidi

“Our children would be much better off if only politicians would give public schools more money, so they can pay teachers more and reduce class sizes.” If we asked for a show of hands for anyone who’s ever thought this, read it in the news or heard it from friends or neighbors, it’s a safe […]

Indiana

(As of July 2009) Registration: Mandatory. Nonpublic schools are required to register with the Indiana Department of Education and be assigned a nonpublic school identification number. They must also submit a pupil enrollment number each fall. IC §20-33-2-21. Length of School Year and Days: To comply with compulsory attendance law in Indiana, a student shall […]

Ep. 161: Legal Updates with Leslie - MT, TN, CT, OH, NV, D.C.

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner discusses recent school choice litigation across the country, including her recent visit to the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments in the Espinoza case.

Ep. 137: The Monthly Debrief - August Looking to September 2019

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and VP of Communications Jennifer Wagner discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They focus on public school choice and public-school district open enrollment policies.

Is Private School Tuition Tax Deductible?

Private school can be expensive. Whether your children are already in private school or you’re considering it for the future, you’re probably looking for ways to save money. This post brings together the existing private school tuition tax credit and deduction programs from the federal government to the states and more.   Federal Tax Breaks […]

Ep. 51: Researcher Profile with Greg Forster

In today’s EdChoice Chat, Drew Catt talks with Dr. Greg Forster, an EdChoice Friedman Fellow, about why he joined the school choice movement, what challenges he sees for the future of the movement and more.

Ep. 68: Cool Schools with the Julie Billiart Schools

You may have heard that private schools don’t serve students with special needs. But in today’s podcast, Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Lannie Davis-Frecker, president and CEO of the Julie Billiart Schools, about how the schools serve students with a variety of special needs, how they fund the schools and how they […]

Friday Freakout: Does Supporting School Choice Mean Hating Public School?

Does the Arizona legislature hate public schools? Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts says it does. Her proof: Senate Bill 1434, which would expand eligibility for Arizona’s education savings accounts (ESAs) to include students on district and charter school waiting lists.  Under Arizona’s ESA law, the state takes 90 percent of the funds it would have […]

Defining Market Failure (with Examples)

Introductory courses in economics usually focus on perfect competition and why markets are more efficient than other institutional arrangements, such as monopolies or oligopolies. Under certain conditions, markets will generate the best outcomes for consumers and society. In the words of economists, markets achieve equilibrium when the quantity consumers demand of a good or service […]

Ep. 91: Research Profiler with James Shuls

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis Marty Lueken interviews James Shuls, a school choice researcher and EdChoice fellow about what brought him to school choice and his current research.

Ep. 106: Talking Rural Education with Mike McShane and Andy Smarick

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Andy Smarick of the R Street Institute. The two discuss the most interesting and shocking findings in No Longer Forgotten: The Triumphs and Struggles of Rural Education in America, a book they edited.

Mapping Drive-Times from Private Schools in Oklahoma

Oklahoma helps more than an estimated 2,500 families afford private school through its tax-credit scholarship and voucher programs, but do kids in this fairly rural state actually have nearby private school options to choose from? Which communities have private schools, and which don’t? And how quickly can families in the Sooner State transport their children […]

Could School Choice Be a Solution for Segregation in Private Schools?

In September, Matt Di Carlo and Kinga Wysienska-Di Carlo published an interesting research brief for the Albert Shanker Institute, wherein they used data from the Common Core of Data and the Private School Universe Survey (both administered by the US Department of Education) to track levels of segregation in public, private and charter schools in […]

Mapping Drive Times to Hope Scholarship-Accepting Private Schools in Florida

In many ways, Florida is at the top of the class when it comes to private schools and educational choice. Florida has a lot of private schools. In fact, only California, Pennsylvania and Texas have more according to the most recent Private School Universe Survey (PSS) estimates. And when it comes to the number of […]

Idaho Has Plenty of Private School Gems Worth Discovering

Idaho’s nickname, the Gem State, proves it has a rich history rooted in discovery and diversity. The same could be said for its future, especially if Idahoans were to increase the schooling options available to families. Can school choice—the idea that parents leverage government programs to choose among schools and educational services for their children—work […]

Going Bold, Not Broke, in Oklahoma: Education Savings Accounts

A common critique often put forth by school choice opponents is that such programs will divert students from districts, therefore “siphoning” resources from public schools. Opponents of the proposed Oklahoma education savings account program are no different. The executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association recently wrote an opinion expressing this concern, claiming that “vouchers […]

Planning for an Uncertain Future: The International School of Indiana

If you wanted to construct a school in a laboratory that would be most affected by a global pandemic, you’d be hard pressed to create one more affected than the International School of Indiana (ISI). With a faculty and student population from all over the world, including places hit hard by COVID-19 and a recruiting […]

MILTON FRIEDMAN ON VOUCHERS

Michelle: You are the grandfather of school vouchers. Do you feel victorious? Mr. Friedman: Far from victorious, but very optimistic and hopeful. We are at the beginning of the task because as of the moment vouchers are available to only a very small amount of children. Our goal is to have a system in which every […]

Ep. 27: Urban Sprawl, the Environment and School Choice with Bart Danielsen

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt talks with Dr. Bartley Danielsen, the author of a three-part blog series on concentrated poverty, pollution, urban blight and gentrification and how school choice could fit into the overall solution. They discuss what inspired this research, what the data […]

Cool Schools: Season One Roundup

In our Cool Schools podcast series, EdChoice’s Director of National Research Mike McShane spotlights some—you guessed it—cool schools across the country. This series isn’t just a celebration of innovation. McShane gets in the weeds, asking school leaders all the burning questions we education geeks care about. Season One of the series wrapped last month, so […]

Friday Freakout: Is Overregulation Inevitable?

This week, Joy Pullman of The Federalist published a piece championing school choice as an intellectual winner, but warning that “School Choice Fights Will Shift to Regulation.”  Today’s freakout reflects two very troubling, but common, misconceptions. Clarifying What “School Reform Types” Want We kindly disagree with Bill. At least for this “school reform type,” we […]

Exploring Colorado’s Private Education Sector: Top Three Findings

Hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, camping, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing, rafting, snowboarding, spelunking—Colorado is at the top when it comes to choices for outdoor adventures. In the last few years, it has been a pioneer of recreational choices. What many people might not know, though, is that Colorado is also a pioneer when it comes to […]

Mapping Drive Times from Private Schools in West Virginia

West Virginia families lack the diverse educational opportunities families in many other states enjoy. But if the state were to create a private school choice program, such as education savings accounts (ESAs), our new study with the Cardinal Institute shows existing West Virginia private schools would be open to participating and have thousands of open […]

Authorizing: A Stop Along "The Chartered Course"?

“Authorizer” is a fairly new term in the American lexicon. Charter school representatives know it well, as do most education reform advocates. But, for the general public, the concept could use some explaining—and, among private school leaders, some consideration. What is an authorizer? An authorizer is the overseer of public charter schools. It is the […]

Ep. 201: Schooling in America Survey - Homeschooling

In this episode, we chat about results in part two of our Schooling in America Survey, “Homeschooling Experiences and Opinions During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” We unpack why parents choose homeschooling and more. Click here to read the full report.

Public Schools Provide Quality Education, Except When They Don't

In “Voucher Schools Provide Choice, Except When They Don’t,” the author Erin Prangley’s diatribe against school choice exposes the self-serving, “it’s good for me, but not for you” attitude that underlies the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) position against vouchers.  Ms. Prangley begins by affirming AAUW’s position supporting “quality public education for all.” It […]

Iowa

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: At least 180 days. Iowa Code §280.3. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: Optional. By definition, “nonpublic school” means any school not directly supported by taxation that is accredited or which uses licensed practitioners as instructors. Iowa Code §280.2. Schools seeking accreditation […]

Ep. 135: Choice in the States - Georgia with Lisa Kelly

Georgia has two private school choice programs: the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and the Georgia Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit. The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program (GOAL), one of the state’s largest scholarship organizations, participates in the tax-credit scholarship program. Lisa Kelly discusses the organization’s involvement and the expansion of the program.

Only 'Snobs' Go to Private Schools

“Over half of the families we serve qualify for the federal free or reduced(-price) lunch program, and every high school student at Memphis Catholic participates in the [Education That Works] corporate intern program to earn approximately two-thirds of their tuition by working five full days per month for a (sic) ETW sponsor. Some 60 percent […]

Ep. 114: The Monthly Debrief - April Looking to May 2019

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartie, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They talk about everything from raising the cap on available tax credits Indiana to a bill passed in North Carolina.

Why Milwaukee’s Voucher Program Isn’t the Litmus Test for School Choice Everywhere (Despite Its Positive Results)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin has a 25-year-old school voucher program (MPCP) restricted to low-income students, district-run chartered public schools and some privately funded vouchers. Because the MPCP is the oldest publicly funded U.S. voucher program, its results have attracted a lot of attention.  Sadly, much of what has been said and written, from school choice expansion proponents […]

Would Shutting Down School Choice Programs Help Public Schools Financially?

Lyrics from Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” perhaps best summarize what will happen if the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) succeeds in overturning Georgia’s tax-credit scholarship program to “return” $58 million to public schools: They’ll “(find) out the hard way that dreams don’t always come true.” For those unfamiliar with tax-credit scholarships, the state-authorized school […]

Ep. 55: Cool Schools with Highlands Micro School

In today’s EdChoice Chat, we continue our Cool Schools series with an interview with the founder and director of the Highlands Micro School. Mike McShane and Anne Wintemute talk about the basics of what the school day looks like but also dig into underlying philosophies of education and child rearing that led Anne to start […]

Friday Freakout: Should Conservatives Support School Choice?

There are many ways to argue a point. The best method is to make your claim with well-reasoned logic and compelling evidence. This is not the method teacher/blogger Peter Greene used in his recent Huffington Post piece “Why Conservatives Should Hate School Choice.” Instead, he attempts to use a “Jedi Mind Trick.” He waves his hand […]

Standardized Tests: States Should Let Parents Decide

Adam Emerson of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute makes some reasonable-sounding arguments as to why states should require private school choice students to continue taking state standardized tests. As supporters of school choice, Adam and I are seated at the same table—we just disagree on who sets the menu. Parents care about more than scores. […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – January 2020

What happened with school choice in the states last month? There’s so much in this post, we organized the updates by legislative updates and litigation updates. Be sure to scroll all the way down to catch it all. LEGISLATIVE UPDATES   Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen (R-Snowflake), the chair of the Arizona Senate Education Committee, is […]

Friday Freakout: Does School Choice Destroy a Public Good?

Today’s freakout comes to us from Twitter, and its message is at the top of school choice opponents’ list of arguments. In fact, it is a favorite of Diane Ravitch’s, one of the figureheads of the anti-school choice movement. Ms. Watts argues that allowing parents to choose non-public schools for their children with the help […]

Maine – Town Tuitioning Program

Maine’s Town Tuitioning Program is the second oldest school choice program in the nation. The program, launched in 1873, allows students from a town without a public school to attend either a public school in another town or a non-religious private school. On this page, you can learn more about the program details, funding, eligibility, […]

EdChoice’s Pandemic Research and Resources

Since COVID-19 turned the world upside down, our team of experts have been hard at work collecting data, analyzing fiscal effects, tracking new school choice efforts and checking in with schools to see how they are handling the crisis. Check out the list of pandemic-related resources below. Feel free to suggest any helpful resources not […]

New Hampshire

(As of November 17, 2015) Registration: Mandatory. Every sole proprietor doing business in the state under any name other than the sole proprietor’s own name, and every partnership, trust, or association doing business in the state shall register the trade name of such business, trust, or association in the manner provided in 349:5 and 349:6. […]

WHY AMERICA NEEDS SCHOOL VOUCHERS

Wall Street Journal | September 28, 2000 Much current discussion of educational vouchers takes it for granted that their primary aim is to improve education for low-income students in urban areas. That would indeed be one of the effects of the full-fledged adoption of vouchers, and it is certainly a worthy objective, but it is […]

What the Espinoza Ruling Means for Blaine Amendments and School Choice

EdChoice is celebrating a landmark VICTORY for families and children! Discriminatory Blaine Amendments found in state constitutions can no longer be used to prohibit families participating in school choice programs from accessing religiously affiliated private schools for their children, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Dept of Revenue. Chief Justice […]

The Next Accountability Part 1: What We Want

Accountability begins with the question: What do we want from schools? Education should help people grow into their potential as human beings, and education reform should fix our system so schools do that better. That means accountability needs to start with an understanding of how we help people grow into their human potential. The lack […]

Breaking Down Arkansas's School Voucher Bill

The Arkansas legislature has passed House Bill 1552, a school voucher for children with disabilities and the state’s first school choice program. Arkansas’s school voucher bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support, is now headed to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. With his signature, Arkansas will become the nation’s 25th state to adopt a school choice program, […]

Louisiana Scholarship Program

The Louisiana Scholarship Program, which aims to serve low-income students in “low-performing” public schools, is the state’s first school voucher program. It was enacted and launched in 2008. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Ep. 127: Choice in the States - Arizona with Jonathan Butcher

In this episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick chats with Jonathan Butcher from The Heritage Foundation. They discuss the history of Arizona’s tax-credit and ESA programs, how ESAs work in the state, and more.

Fiscal Undercurrents Pulling Us Toward Universal School Choice?

Much as the Gulf Stream sets the course for trans-Atlantic cargo ships, there are many unseen socioeconomic trends that push and pull on the movement of society and public policy. In the realm of K–12 education, there are two major fiscal trends that are silently pulling the United States toward a system that would allow […]

Are Private Schools Accountable?

Milton Friedman said if the traditional public schools are as good as its defenders claim, they shouldn’t be afraid of competition. In a similar vein, some school choice supporters argue that if private schools are performing well then they shouldn’t fear state standardized tests. Such is the implication of a new policy toolkit released yesterday by […]

Private Schools Must Explore Unchartered Territory

The Chartered Course by Andy Smarick continues an important discussion focused on growing and developing the private school market in America. It is a welcome shift from the “save our schools” mentality to one of growth and new ideas. It is as if there is finally a “re-imaging”’ of the private school market beginning in […]

Ep. 65: The Monthly Debrief – August Looking to September 2018

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states in August and look forward to what’s still to come as we close out September 2018.

Louisiana

(As of November 15, 2012) Registration: Mandatory. If a nonpublic school chooses not to seek state approval, the school must register with the state each school year to comply with Louisiana’s statute, La. R.S. Ann. §17:232 (C) and (D). Nonpublic registered schools (not seeking state approval) may include: (1) educational programs or (2) traditional schools […]

Ohio – Cleveland Scholarship Program

Ohio’s Cleveland Scholarship Program was enacted in 1995 and launched in 1996. Through this program, students who reside in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District can receive vouchers to attend neighboring public schools or private schools. Learn more about the program’s eligibility, funding, requirements, regulations, and more on this page.

Ep. 175: Big Ideas – "The Not-So-Great-Society" with Lindsey Burke

In this episode of the Big Ideas series, we chat with Lindsey Burke of the Center for Education Policy about the book, The Not-So-Great-Society. The book, co-edited by Burke, contains 23 chapters on various aspects of education policy from preschool through college over the last 60 years.

Friday Freakout: School Choice is UnAmerican

Should taxpayers be compelled to fund schools that teach concepts that support “junk science” or violate their convictions?  Teacher/blogger Peter Greene thinks that is un-American, and he followed up a few days later on the Huffington Post to claim that as his fifth reason “conservatives should hate school choice.” So here I am, back to […]

Ep. 102: Cool Schools with Noble Academy

In this episode of Cool Schools, Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Lauren Boros, principal of Noble Academy, about their founding and growth. Noble Academy is a public charter high school in Chicago that partners with Phillips Exeter Academy to break away from the traditional public school instruction model.

New Study Examines What the Data Say About School Accountability Driven by Parents

As the school choice debate ramps up around the country, one of the most commonly used phrases by choice opponents, and some advocates, is that voucher schools are “unaccountable.” This conceptualization stems from the fact that most voucher programs face different accountability regulations than traditional public schools, some of which may be less transparent. On […]

Oklahoma

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: A school day shall consist of not less than six hours devoted to school activities, except that a school day for nursery, early childhood education, kindergarten, extended day program, and alternative education programs shall be as otherwise defined by law or as […]

Want to Increase Public School Funding? Try School Choice

“We need to fully fund our school formula” has become a common refrain in statehouses across the country—including in Mississippi. There is a way policymakers can increase funds for public school students—and it’s as easy as E-S-A. The Great Recession left many states unable to appropriate enough money to fund public schools at the per-student […]

Mississippi

(As of July 12, 2013) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: A nonpublic school term is the number of days that each school requires for promotion from grade to grade. Miss. Code Ann. §37-13-91(2)(e). State Approval: Optional. Nonpublic schools may request approval by the Mississippi Board of Education. A process set by […]

Friday Freakout: No Sources for School Choice Success

This week’s Friday Freakout comes from the comments section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Get Schooled Blog, where our president and CEO, Robert Enlow, had an op-ed discussing how school choice impacts employment (in honor of Labor Day): In response to each of MaryElizabethSings’ points: 1. Indeed, MaryElizabethSings is absolutely right—“all private schools, charter schools, and […]

School Choice in Rural America: How Online Schooling Helps Bridge the Accessibility Gap

As we wade into the 2018 legislative sessions, it’s important to remember a key takeaway from 2017: online schools are a valuable, important and sometimes the only school choice option for many families in rural America. Last July, Andy Smarick, with the American Enterprise Institute, reminded us: “Don’t forget rural schools.” He noted a recent […]

Will School Choice Lead to Fewer Resources for Students Who Remain in Public Schools?

As recent polling data indicates, a significant majority of people believe that allowing parents to take the taxpayer funds dedicated for the education of their children to choose the best schools for them will lead to better outcomes for those children. But what about the students who remain in public schools?  Are they harmed in […]

Private School Profiles: How the Partnership Schools are Responding to COVID-19

The Partnership Schools operate seven Catholic schools in Harlem and the South Bronx in New York City.  They serve more than 2,000 students in two of the poorest Congressional districts in the United States. As schools across the country transition to digital instruction in the wake of COVID-19, many observers argue that schools serving low-income […]

Ep. 33: Cool Schools with The Oaks Academy

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of National Research Mike McShane continues our “Cool Schools” series with an interview with CEO of The Oaks Academy Andrew Hart. They talk about the classical Christian school network’s mission to provide excellent education in a racially and socioeconomically integrated environment near downtown Indianapolis.

Ep. 60: Legal Updates with Leslie - Janus, Florida and Puerto Rico

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner chats with Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner about several court cases, including the U.S. Supreme Court Janus v. ASFCME case and an ongoing case about Florida’s school choice programs.

North Dakota

(As of April 9, 2014) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Day: Elementary and secondary schools must provide for a school calendar of at least 182 days, which include one hundred seventy-five full days of instruction, three holidays, two parent-teacher conference days, and two days for professional development activities (which may be substituted […]

School Vouchers Gone Wild? The Truth About Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarships

Based on recent media coverage, you might get the impression that the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program operates in some kind of Mad Max free-for-all, where families are routinely exploited by ne’er-do-well school operators. An editorial in the Orlando Sentinel decried “your tax dollars” being “whisked away” to private schools and called for an […]

Ep. 145: Choice in the States - New Hampshire with Kate Baker

Kate Baker, director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund of New Hampshire, discusses the state’s tax-credit scholarship program. Learn about the program’s legislative journey, and how it’s different from other tax-credit scholarships across the nation.

New EdChoice survey showcases parental satisfaction, choices among Indiana public, private and charter school parents

One-third of Hoosier parents unaware of state’s voucher, tax-credit scholarship programs INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, today released a cross-sector survey of Indiana parents with K-12 students in private, public and charter schools, including roughly 1,000 parents who have used the state’s voucher or tax-credit scholarship programs to access […]

Alabama

(As of April 2013) Registration: Mandatory. All private schools, except church schools, must register annually on or before October 10 with the Alabama Department of Education and report on the number of students and instructors, enrollment, attendance, course of study, length of term, cost of tuition, funds, value of property, and the general condition of […]

Ep. 31: Future Louisiana Voucher Research with Jonathan Mills

In today’s EdChoice Chat, Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt talks with Jonathan Mills, senior research associate in the University of Arkansas’s Department of Education. Jon talks about his current research projects, what he’s learned from collaborating with a diverse team and how research can be useful for parents and policymakers.

How to Accurately Calculate the Fiscal Impact of School Voucher Programs

Some may not admit it, but many of us cringe when a conversation turns to numbers and math. Well, we’re taking it there with this post. Feel free to take a moment to cringe, but we urge you not to turn away. The continued growth in popularity and expansion of school voucher programs makes it […]

Ep. 93: Legal Updates with Leslie - FL, ME, MT, NM and TN

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner chats with Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner about several court cases, including a controversial tax-credit scholarship program ruling in Montana.

Legal Updates with Leslie: Florida, Maine, Montana, New Mexico and Tennessee

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner chats with Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner about several court cases, including a controversial tax-credit scholarship program ruling in Montana. Click to listen to the full podcast, or read the transcript below. LISTEN ON ITUNES LISTEN ON STITCHER Our Podcast Transcribed […]

EdChoice at the annual AEFP Conference

A few weeks ago (March 16–18), we attended the Association for Education Finance and Policy’s (AEFP) annual conference in Washington, D.C. AEFP is definitely one of the top conferences in our field. It is a great place to present research and get feedback from some of the top minds in education research. Read on for […]

More School Districts Move Toward "Recovery-Style" Model for Greater School Autonomy

The state of Louisiana sparked a paradigm shift in education when it created the New Orleans’ Recovery School District in 2004. RSD is now almost entirely composed of charter schools. School principals gain autonomy over budget, staff, and curriculum while central office staff focus on addressing school failure. This experiment has delivered encouraging results. Just […]

Ohio – Educational Choice Scholarship Program

Ohio’s “EdChoice” scholarship program, enacted in 2005 and launched in 2006, offers private school vouchers to K–12 students who are assigned to “low-performing” public schools. Participating private schools are required to accept the voucher as full tuition for students whose families are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Learn more about […]

Survey Finds Colorado Private School Supply Primed for School Choice Families

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 15, 2015) – New data show Colorado’s private schools have an estimated 9,000 open seats, are open to school choice programs, and, for the most part, have lower per-student tuition costs than the public per-pupil allocation, according to a new report released by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Andrew D. Catt’s Exploring […]

Report: School choice has yet to deliver more private school students, capacity

Future growth depends on quality policies and sustainable programs INDIANAPOLIS — EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, today released a new research report concluding that school choice programs across America have not delivered increases in private school enrollment or capacity over the past two decades. The Private School Landscape: The Effects of School […]

Breaking Down New Hampshire’s ESA Bill, the Research and Public Opinion

Last year, New Hampshire legislators introduced a bill to create Education Freedom Savings Accounts. The New Hampshire Senate passed a version of SB 193 that would set up an education savings account (ESA) program that is open to all public and homeschooled K–12 students in the Granite State. That would be a vast upgrade from New Hampshire’s […]

Montana

(As of June 5, 2013) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: Attendance at a nonpublic school exempts a student from public education if the nonpublic school provides at least the minimum aggregate hours of pupil instruction in accordance with. Mont. Code Ann. §§20-1-301, 20-1-302 and 20-5-109(2). State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: Optional. Nonpublic […]

Ep. 66: School Choice in Pop Culture - Parenthood

In this episode of our School Choice in Pop Culture series, two fans of the NBC television show Parenthood, our Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge and Vice President of External Relations Brian McGrath, discuss inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking clips from the popular television series.

Friday Freakout: What Teachers Say about School Choice vol. 2

We’re back this week with the second installment of this series, which features Facebook feedback we regularly receive from teachers across the country. In our first post on the topic, we said, “Our ultimate hope is teachers, many of whom might be reading right now, will see that we aren’t all talk. We do listen. […]

What Teachers Say About School Choice vol. 3

We’re back with the third installment of the What Teachers Say About School Choice series, which features feedback we’ve received on social media from educators and administrators — along with how we listen and respond. In our first post on the topic, we said, “Our ultimate hope is teachers, many of whom might be reading […]

Ep. 58: Cool Schools with Santa Fe Waldorf School

Mike McShane chats with Jeffrey Baker, the school administrator of the Santa Fe Waldorf School. This prekindergarten through 12th grade school follows the nearly 100-year-old hands-on educational model put forth by Rudolf Steiner. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript to discover how this school developed, challenges it has overcome and more.

The Next Accountability Part 3: What We Don’t Want from Schools

In this series we have been looking at some uncomfortable truths about education policy. In this installment we’re going to look at how the education reform movement has avoided confronting these truths, and how that has contributed to its current impasse over accountability. It’s understandable that we aren’t eager to face these challenging issues, but […]

Vermont – Town Tuitioning Program

Vermont’s Town Tuitioning Program was launched in 1869, making it the oldest school choice program. The school voucher program provides educational options for students whose towns do not have public schools. The sending town pays school tuition directly to the “receiving” school, which can be any public or private, non-religious school in or outside Vermont. […]

You Can Disparage School Choice — As Long As You Ignore Facts, Thousands of Kids

A recent Huffington Post article took the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) to task for how some MPCP students with special needs are being treated in their schools.  First, to be clear, author Shayna Pitre cited an inaccurate number that voucher opponents have propped up for years when attacking the nation’s first modern school choice […]

Ep. 149: Big Ideas - "Who Killed Civil Society" with Howard Husock

Howard Husock discusses his book, Who Killed Civil Society: The Rise of Big Government and the Decline of Bourgeois Norms. In it, he talks about the role and importance of formative efforts, as opposed to reformative efforts. He dedicates a chapter to the Harlem Children’s Zone, which he uses as an example of how civil […]

Will Wisconsin School Vouchers “Drain Billions” from Public Schools?

Wisconsin has a long and rich history of school choice, with tens of thousands of families having availed themselves of the opportunities to choose by enrolling their children in private schools. However, a legitimate concern for citizens is whether Wisconsin school vouchers will siphon resources from K–12 public schools, especially given that a vast majority of […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, January 2019

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Arizona In Arizona, legislators have filed a large number of bills that would affect the existing educational choice policies, including several that seek to improve or expand the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program: SB 1395 would improve the administration of the Empowerment Scholarship Account Program. The bill would clarify eligibility for students living […]

Breaking Down "The School Voucher Audit"

Students transferring to private schools using publicly funded vouchers saved participating states more than $1.7 billion over a 20-year period. Here’s how: From 1990 to 2011, students in six states and Washington, D.C., received $2.8 billion in voucher funds to attend private schools of choice. In making that choice, those students also relieved public schools […]

Miami Herald Misses Key Facts and Context in School Choice Takedown

Earlier this week, the Miami Herald editorialized against the proposed expansion of the highly popular Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. The law allows businesses to receive tax credits for contributing to nonprofit scholarship funding organizations (SFOs) that aid low-income students to attend the school of their parents’ choice. Florida’s sole SFO, Step Up For Students, issued […]

Less Money for Public Schools Makes Them Better

Despite the message of those adorable AT&T commercials that “more is better,” there is evidence to the contrary regarding money for public schools. In a little-discussed report, issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in September 2007, economist Rajashri Chakrabarti, Ph.D. presented a highly quantitative and rigorous analysis of the effect of school choice […]

Ep. 188: Cool Schools with Sequitur Classical Academy

In this episode, we chat with Brian Daigle, co-founder of Sequitur Classical Academy. He discusses the classical education model, how the school divides grade levels, and more. Note: Since the recording of this podcast, Thomas Achord has been hired as headmaster.

Top 10 Friedman Foundation Blog Posts of 2014

We looked into our blog analytics to find out which blog posts Friedman Foundation readers viewed and engaged with most this past year. We hope you enjoy reading, or re-reading, this top content. Don’t see your favorite post in these lists? Help increase its visibility by sharing it and spreading the word on social media! Most […]

Ep. 98: The Monthly Debrief - January Looking to February 2019

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They talk about everything from a three-day hearing in West Virginia to making friends with sheep in New Hampshire.

Public Aid for Private Schools Already Happens

When I present on what education savings accounts (ESAs), vouchers and tax-credit scholarships are and how they work, I always try to start with one big request: Raise your hand if you know someone who has used a school choice program. There are usually no hands in the air at that point except my own. […]

Ep. 179: Comparing Ed Reforms

Learn more about our recent brief, Comparing Ed Reforms. We partnered with Hanover Research to assess the experimental research on nine K-12 education reforms.

New Government Report on Educational Options for American Indian Students Omits Private Schools

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released a report yesterday titled Public School Choice: Limited Options Available for Many American Indian and Alaska Native Students, which I found thoroughly fascinating. However, the GAO seems to have egregiously omitted the private school options available to those students. As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been […]

Why You Should Stop Complaining About Schools Marketing Themselves to Families

From the minute we wake up to the minute we call it a day, we’re bombarded with marketing and advertising. Our phones, computers and televisions flicker with the latest deals. Our social media platforms intuitively know what brands we like best. Our brains are overloaded with sales pitches via billboards, bumper stickers, T-shirts, television and […]

How to Become a Teacher: Public vs. Private

“Those who can’t do, teach,” goes the common refrain. But not among education reformers, many of whom say changing that attitude is the key to lasting systemic improvement in our schools. And research seems to back them up, as studies show teachers are the most important school-based factor in a student’s performance. So how does someone […]

Ep. 119: 2019 Surveying The Military

Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy, joins EdChoice’s Paul DiPerna and Drew Catt to cover the biggest takeaways from their recent report, 2019 Surveying the Military. They discuss the most surprising results, similarities and differences with other parent surveys, methodology and more.

Ep. 28: Researchers to Watch with Frederick Andersson, Christian Buerger & Mike Ford

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt interviews three up-and-coming school choice researchers: Frederick Andersson and Christian Buerger of IUPUI and Mike Ford of the University of Wisconsin. They talk about why they chose to research school choice, their current and future projects and tips for […]

The Next 200 Years: A New EdChoice Series

Almost any article on Catholic schooling today will have at least one paragraph in it describing the last five decades’ decline in both the number of Catholic schools and the number of students attending them. At this point, the factors are well known: fewer priests and religious staff working in schools, Catholics becoming wealthier and […]

Ep. 50: Cool Schools with Venture Schools

In our latest episode of our Cool Schools podcast, Mike McShane talks with Drew Schantz, the founder and executive director of the soon-to-be Venture School. This charter high school in Detroit will use project-based learning principles to teach high schoolers to think like entrepreneurs. Mike and Drew talk about the research and development process for […]

Ep. 160: Big Ideas - "A Legacy To Keep" with Virginia Walden Ford

We sit down with EdChoice board member Virginia Walden Ford to discuss her book, School Choice: A Legacy to Keep. In it, she describes growing up the daughter of the first black assistant superintendent of the Little Rock school district, and how she became a champion for educational choice.

Ep. 133: Researcher Profile - Nate Barrett

In this episode, we chat with Nate Barrett, senior director of research and evaluation at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He discusses centralized enrollment systems, parental accountability and more.

Charter Schools: A Solution No One Asked For (But So Many Families Need)

By Jennifer Wagner If you work in the K-12 education space, you know by now that it’s open season on charter schools. This recent New York Times piece took a look at the phenomenon: “Public charter schools — caught between growing Democratic disenchantment and a Trump administration shift toward private schools — are preparing for political battle, as the long-protected […]

ESSA and What it Means for School Choice

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the ZIP Code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will,” President Barack Obama said after signing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA is a rewrite of No Child Left […]

Ep. 100: Fireside Chats With Robert Enlow

In the first episode of our Fireside Chats series, EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow takes us back to our roots. He discusses the Friedman legacy and the importance of EdChoice’s vision.

The 2016 School Choice Yearbook Superlatives

The Friedman Foundation team put in our votes for this year’s school choice yearbook superlatives, and these are our winners. Check them out and tell us how you would have voted in the comments.   Most Empowering Nevada Education Savings Accounts Our team weighed purchasing power and the ability of parents to use their funds […]

Friday Freakout: Vouchers Aim to Support Private Schools, Not Students?

Today’s freakout comes to us from the comments section of the The Washington Post piece “Amicus brief on empirical data about school vouchers”. The article itself explains Douglas County, Colorado’s school voucher pilot program, which allows up to 500 students (out of 66,000 in the district) to receive an education voucher. The ACLU of Colorado […]

Key Findings from the 2019 Schooling in America Survey

Americans’ satisfaction with K–12 education reached a 15-year high this year, according to Gallup. But do parents and teachers agree? Is there consensus among generations? Growing education reform efforts indicate there’s more under the surface. Our 2019 Schooling in America Survey with Braun Research measures American attitudes toward big issues in K–12 education and digs […]

Minnesota

(As of November 20, 2012) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: The state does not regulate the length of the school year for students attending nonpublic schools. State Approval: No requirements. State Accreditation: Optional. The Nonpublic Education Council may recognize educational accrediting agencies. Minn. Stat. Ann. §123B.445. Minnesota nonpublic schools (traditional private […]

Missouri

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “That no person can be compelled to erect, support or attend any place or system of worship, or to maintain or support any priest, minister, preacher or teacher of any sect, church, creed or denomination of religion; but if any person shall voluntarily make a contract for any […]

New Report Examines the Effect of Competition on Innovation in K–12 Education

Charter, private schools are best to improve all schools via competitive pressure INDIANAPOLIS – The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice today released Pursuing Innovation: How Can Educational Choice Transform K–12 Education in the U.S.?, authored by nationally recognized education researchers Dr. Patrick J. Wolf and Dr. Anna J. Egalite. The new report clearly shows that […]

What You Need to Know from the Massive NCES School Choice Report

Last week, the National Center for Education Statistics released School Choice in the United States: 2019, a helpful collection of data on school choice patterns across the nation. As the report indicates, more and more families are making an active choice as to where to send their children to school, both within and outside the […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, February 2019

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Arizona The Arizona Senate Finance Committee passed SB 1395, a bill that would improve the administration of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program. The bill clarifies eligibility for students living within the attendance boundary of a low-performing district school, clarifies that students are eligible to receive an ESA to enroll in kindergarten until […]

Who Should Hybrid Home-school?

We present four profiles of potential hybrid home-schoolers.   In Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, he recommends that purveyors of new technologies create libraries of “customer characterizations,” profiles of potential users of their technology. Who might use our product? How might they use it? What problems do they need to have solved? Moore recommends that […]

ESAs are Key to Improving Ed, Attracting Talent in Detroit

It has been sad to watch the spectacular fall of the once great American city of Detroit. From 1950 to the present, the population of Detroit has dropped from 1.85 million to fewer than 700,000 residents. Once home to the highest per capita income among metropolitan areas in the United States, Detroit now has: a […]

Cool Schools: Season Three Roundup

It’s that time again. We’re recapping each episode in the latest season of our Cool Schools podcast. In this series, EdChoice Director of National Research Mike McShane spotlights some—you guessed it—cool schools across the country. He gets in the weeds, asking school leaders all the burning questions we education geeks care about. For those of […]

Four Reasons for Preserving the Autonomy of SGOs

Like any law, design matters. The Georgia legislature may soon consider a newly proposed regulation that, if passed, would diminish the autonomy of K–12 scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs). Although well-intentioned, the suggested changes pose a threat to a growing and successful type of educational choice. Tax-credit scholarships are a very popular form of private school choice. […]

Ep. 124: Cool Schools with Garden Christian Academy

In this episode, Danielle and Stephen Piscura discuss what makes Garden Christian Academy different from others in the Cleveland area. The school, which will open this fall, follows a model similar to Hope Academy, previously featured in our series.

What Would Milton Friedman Say: How to Keep "My Brother's Keeper" from Failing

If President Obama wants to “empower boys and men of color,” he really should give school choice another look. If only the idea’s founder, Milton Friedman, were still alive to advise the president—one Nobel laureate to another—as he did previous officeholders of the White House. Heeding Milton’s advice could make the president’s proposal far more […]

Ep. 126: The Monthly Debrief - July Looking to August 2019

Legislative sessions are winding down, so what is our state team doing now? In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss everything from program expansions in Ohio to winning bets.

Happy Holidays from the Friedman Foundation

At this time of year, we like to highlight stories of families who have felt the impact of educational choice programs. This year, we talked to two Indiana families about their journeys with school choice.   The Ito Family – A School Choice Success In our Thanksgiving 2014 blog post, we highlighted one school here […]

Seven Survey Snapshots of Colorado's K–12 Education Landscape

In spring of this year, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion on the Douglas County school voucher program. Since then, proponents of the program have made headway in their journey to appeal  the case to the Supreme Court of the United States. But what do voters think about Colorado’s K–12 education issues in their […]

Transcending Partisan Views on School Choice

They do things differently in Iowa. And I mean they do so in a refreshing way. As I have talked with folks there, it is easy to pick up a “we are in this together” attitude when it comes to public education. And the idea of “public education” does not have to be defined by […]

Private, Religious Schools Have Strong Showing at Science Fair

As an alumnus of private Catholic schools, I continually am surprised by the evolving notion that religious schools are dismissive of science. Indeed, much is being made about private school teachings that are deemed incompatible with science. But as a recent personal experience of my own shows, this generalization is taken oftentimes on faith. Indeed, kids in […]

Friday Freakout: A Witchy Scare Tactic Against School Choice

This week’s Friday Freakout is a blast from the past, bringing up an old, spooky scare tactic against school choice still used today (though with different masks).  The freakout comes from 1993, in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Witch school could bring toil and trouble.” That story noted how a “coven of witches” said they would […]

Properly Counting Indiana's Voucher Students, Step by Step

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) reported that 39.3 percent of voucher recipients (7,779 students) were never previously enrolled in public schools in Indiana, implying that these vouchers are an additional fiscal cost to the state because, as many are interpreting it, “those kids would have paid their way to a private school with or without […]

Kentucky

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[N]or shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion .…” Kentucky Const. § 5. Blaine Amendment “No portion of any fund or tax […]

The Friedman Foundation on Filling Private School Seats

(Posted in response to a guest post by Anna J. Egalite entitled “How to Maximize Private School Supply in Choice Programs.”) Among America’s private school choice programs, the Louisiana Scholarship Program has some of, if not the, most restrictive application processes for voucher students and voucher-accepting private schools. Its administrators determine 1) which private schools can […]

School Choice: It's Easy as 1, 2, 3, but Not for IDOE

“I tell yah Dave, I’ve been over this stuff a bunch of times; it just doesn’t add up. Who does these books? I mean if I ran my business this way I’d be out of business.” That line from the movie “Dave” perhaps best sums up my review of the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) […]

Student Stories: How My School Choice Inspired Me to Teach

My name is Lennon. From kindergarten until my junior year, I have attended private, parochial schools. My elementary and middle school years were fondly lived out at St. Gregory Catholic School, and now that I’m in high school, I’m attending Brophy College Preparatory. I have many passions. Like my namesake, I play the piano. (I’ve […]

Friday Freakout: Who's to Blame? Public School Districts' Teacher Pension Dilemma

According to a recent article in the U.S. News & World Report, several big-city public school systems face immense fiscal challenges. The leading suspect? Public pensions. This answer shouldn’t be surprising. School pension costs have doubled over the last 10 years from $500 per student to more than $1,000 per student, and public schools are […]

Unbundling: Three Policies That Would Improve Schools’ Core Education Services

Up to this point, we’ve talked about unbundling what we might call “ancillary” school services like transportation, food, professional development, and remedial education. Now, it is fair to note that thinking of these as ancillary is probably insufficient because if kids can’t get to school, they can’t do anything else. Seems pretty essential. But that […]

Analyzing Indiana's School Vouchers

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA) released a report last week on the impact of Indiana’s school choice programs, specifically its school voucher program. To date, the dialogue around the report has focused on the CTBA’s claim that there is no evidence school choice improves student performance—an unsubstantiated conclusion reached partly by ignoring […]

Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program Frozen Despite Strong Public Support

Despite strong public support for the program, Ohio lawmakers froze the state’s Educational Choice (EdChoice) Scholarship Program for one year. Alterations to private school choice programs were not at the top of mind for most state legislatures by the time the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, but the EdChoice Scholarship was a major agenda item […]

Cool Schools: All-Boys High School Focuses on Building Brotherhood, Being Leaders

In this episode of Cool Schools, Kevin Festerling, founder of Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School recounts the institution’s first academic year. Festerling says, “Our job isn’t to create Lutherans. Our job is to be Lutheran.” Click to listen, or read the full transcript below.   LISTEN ON ITUNES LISTEN ON STITCHER Our Podcast Transcribed Mike […]

A New Look at Data from the Nation's Largest School Choice Program

Indiana’s statewide school choice program is either incredibly controversial or wildly popular, depending on with whom one speaks. To the former, vouchers only help the rich. And sometimes with the latter, it is suggested only families in “poor-performing” public schools use the freedom to choose in education. Thankfully, facts exist to respond to such opinions. This […]

Ep. 107: Cool Schools with Hope Academy

In this episode of Cool Schools, Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Russ Gregg of Minneapolis’s Hope Academy. Almost 20 years ago, Russ started this faith-based, inner-city school after realizing he wanted his neighbors to have a better educational option.

Hybrid Home Schooling’s “Whole Product” Problem

We present three steps to making hybrid homeschool work.   In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore applies the “whole product” concept to his technology adoption lifecycle. Because products never fully live up to the promises of salespeople or the expectations of consumers, innovators must augment their products with services and supplementary products that make it […]

Schooling in America Series: Getting to Know the Public on Public Education

Nationally, households with parents of school-aged children make up just 42 percent of all households. Those who are not school-aged parents—that other 58 percent of households—don’t seem to have as much at stake in K–12 education compared to parents. Yet education ranked as the second-highest issue in statewide political races this November, indicating that the […]

Ep. 42: Cool Schools with Acton Academies

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, we continue our Cool Schools series with an interview with Acton Academies Co-Founder Jeff Sandefer. He talks about how his family started Acton Academies and what their innovative model of education looks like in the classroom.

District of Columbia – Opportunity Scholarship Program

This school voucher program is Washington D.C.’s only school choice program. It was enacted and launched in 2004, and it continues to serve students from low-income households. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.

Friday Freakout: Is School Choice Just Another Tool for Central Planners?

By now, just about everyone has heard about Nevada. The state, which didn’t have any private school choice programs, passed tax-credit scholarship and education savings account (ESA) laws in a single legislative session. In a news article I wrote for Watchdog.org, I noted that the ESA program wouldn’t cost taxpayers any more than they’re paying […]

Florida – John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program

Florida’s John M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program was enacted and launched in 1999, making it the nation’s first school voucher program for students with special needs. The Florida legislature expanded the program in 2000. Learn more about the most up-to-date program details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and […]

Friday Freakout: What to Do with Struggling Schools

This week’s Vice.com article, “The Paradox of School Choice,” tells the story of a young couple who, despite the premium they pay in home costs, still found it difficult to enroll their younger brother in their (at-capacity) public school of choice. Even in Ohio’s educational environment, which ranks in the top 10 states of the […]

EdChoice Offers New Service: Mapping Private School Hot Spots

As someone who has been working with private school data for nearly five years, I am always looking for more tools to help us fill in the information gaps. To that end, I took a handful of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) courses to get a Graduate Certificate that gave me the skills and ability to […]

EdChoice releases survey of private school landscape in Texas

New data distributed as policymakers consider educational choice proposals INDIANAPOLIS — EdChoice, a nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, today released a policy brief outlining the private school landscape in Texas. The survey of more than 300 private school leaders indicated that schools want to be part of educational choice programs despite an […]

Maryland – Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program

Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program was enacted  launched, and began providing vouchers in 2016. This school choice program, the state’s first, provides vouchers to low-income students to attend private schools. Learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility, and rules on this page.

2020 Schooling in America Series: School Choice, Education Spending and More

In preparation for the first full semester of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools of choice stood at policy and parental crossroads. Charter and private schools of various sizes received pandemic-related funding to stay afloat, causing many to reassess the relationship between K–12 and government funding. New private school parents from South Carolina to Arizona are propping […]

Six Survey Snapshots of Nevada's Education Landscape

At the start of the year, an internal “poll” among staff at the Friedman Foundation named Nevada the state most likely to succeed in creating its first school choice program. In fact, a bill that would create a tax-credit scholarship program is making its way through the state legislature right now. But what does Nevada’s […]

Friday Freakout: Super Says Public Ed Funds Are for School Infrastructure, Not Your Kid

One of the most common arguments put forth by opponents of school choice is that public dollars should not flow to private institutions. Consider, for example, this Facebook comment from John Herzig, superintendent of the Shidler (Oklahoma) Public Schools: But of course the education of our children isn’t like a road or running water, goods […]

Ep. 34: Reviewing the International School Choice and Reform Conference

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt chats with Research Assistant Mike Shaw about their experience at the International School Choice and Reform Conference. They talk about who was there, forthcoming research they got to preview and panels they watched or participated in.

Profiting from Educational Choice?

This article was originally published on Education Next. Last year, more than 250,000 students in 17 states used tax-credit scholarships to attend schools their families chose. Under such policies, taxpayers can receive tax credits worth between 50 percent to 100 percent of their donations to nonprofit scholarship organizations that help low- and middle-income students attend private schools. […]

The Best of Friedman Foundation Blog Posts: 2015 Edition

What did our blog readers view and enjoy most this past year? We dug into our analytics to see which Friedman Foundation posts were most loved. Enjoy reading—or maybe re-reading—2015’s top content. If your favorite post is missing from the list, share it on social media to boost its visibility!   Top 10 Most Visited […]

Friday Freakout: Responding to "Why White Parents Won't Choose Black Schools"

“You don’t want to make the same choice I made. That must make you (fill in the blank).” In an atmosphere where statements like that are the dominant rhetoric, it’s hard to have a real, productive conversation about educational choices. In today’s freakout, we endeavor to nonetheless. Last month, Atlanta-area teacher and mom Abby Norman […]

Surveying the Path for ESAs in Delaware

If Delaware Gov. Jack Markell wants to entrust parents to “make the right educational choices for their children,” his state’s voters are unlikely to stand in the way. In fact, new polling data show Delawareans might want more than what the governor is offering.  “Our students are our future and the key to our efforts […]

Wisconsin – Parental Choice Program (Statewide)

Wisconsin’s statewide Parental Choice Program, a private school voucher program, was enacted and launched in 2013. The program offers school vouchers to students whose families meet certain income qualifications and are not assigned to the Milwaukee Public Schools or Racine Unified school districts. Learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility and regulations in this section.

Ep. 154: School Choice in Pop Culture – Jane the Virgin

Alexis Price, our marketing coordinator, and our resident state research guru Drew Catt chat about some school choice themes that appear in the super popular TV series Jane the Virgin. For a different podcast experience, check out the video recording of this episode.

New Hampshire Governor Signs Bill Protecting, Expanding Town Tuitioning

During his campaign, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu promised at a public hearing in Croydon that he would sign a bill protecting and expanding town tuitioning, and he kept his promise. Today, Gov. Sununu signed SB 8, a town tuitioning bill often referred to as “the Croydon bill,” and Croydon and other small towns are […]

Unbundling: Three Ways Public Schools Can Rethink Food Services

School districts spend about $24 billion on food services each year. According to the USDA, approximately 29.8 million students receive school lunch every day through the National School Lunch Program. That’s about 60 percent of public K-12 students in the country. Nationwide, the cost of providing food services on a per-pupil basis, after adjusting for […]

Ep. 69: Surveying Florida Scholarship Families with Jason Bedrick and Lindsey Burke

Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program—a type of private school choice program—serves some of the most disadvantaged students in the state. In an effort to better understand how those families feel about the program and their schools, our researchers surveyed more than 14,000 parents and guardians of Florida children using tax-credit scholarships. As the largest-ever survey of […]

How Do "Bad Parents" Affect Schools?

Charges of “cream-skimming” is a favorite tactic used by some to scare away support for school choice. Skeptics say that should portable student-based funding be implemented, the most-engaged families will rise to the top (the “cream”) and private schools will separate them from the rest. Thus, public schools will be left to serve only the […]

Studying the Pursuit of Innovation: How Does Competition Affect K–12 Education?

It’s time to stop treating the problem of educational productivity as a grinding, eat-your-broccoli exercise. It’s time to start treating it as an opportunity for innovation and accelerating progress. – Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, November 17, 2010 States have been charged with doing more with less in recent years, a state of affairs […]

Ep 4: NH K–12 & School Choice Survey with Kate Baker

More than two decades ago, the “Live Free or Die” state was an early school choice adopter. It enacted a charter school law, granting schools more autonomy and empowering parents with more choices. In 2012, it enacted a tax-credit scholarship program, the first of its kind in the nation to include homeschoolers. Last year, the […]

Top 10 School Choice Moments in 2013

TOP FIVE 1. Pro-voucher candidates win suburban school board election. In November 2013, pro-school choice candidates seeking to keep or gain seats on Colorado’s Douglas County school board won in a highly contested race. In 2011, after “DougCo” school board members enacted a series of education reforms, including a universally available school voucher program, unions […]

Ep. 89: A School Choice Family’s Story - Ola Alayande

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our CRM and Email Marketing Manager Abby Hayes talks with Ola Alayande, a mother of seven children, about her family’s experience with Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which gives her high-achieving students access to the challenging curriculum they need.

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – March 2020

As we face a pandemic, school choice in the states saw a dip in activity last month. Some bills continued to progress, however. Let our state and legal teams help you stay up to date on the latest in our monthly brief.   Arizona The Arizona legislature passed and Gov. Doug Ducey signed SB 1224, […]

Ep 3: Renewing Our Cities with Bart Danielsen

Urban economic development resources are often focused on bringing jobs and affordable housing to downtown areas. In contrast, there has been very little consideration given to how public charter schools and private school choice programs might act as economic development catalysts. In their new report Renewing Our Cities: A Case Study on School Choice’s Role […]

Ep. 69: Do-Over or Double Down? - A New Report by Mike McShane and Paul DiPerna

What does it mean to hold schools accountable? We convened focus groups of K–12 stakeholders—from policymakers to researchers to teachers—to wrestle with that tough question and help us better understand the current accountability landscape. In our latest report, Do-Over or Double Down? Working Toward a New K–12 Education Accountability Ecosystem, our researchers compiled what those […]

Ep. 122: The Monthly Debrief - June Looking to July 2019

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They talk about everything from the repeal of  the Nevada Education Savings Account program to program expansions in Ohio.

Ep. 123: Legal Updates with Leslie - TN, FL, MD and MT

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner discusses recent school choice litigation across the country, including an update on the Montana tax-credit scholarship case.

Good Districts Aren't Enough

A recent Wall Street Journal story, “Homeowners’ Quest for the Best Schools,” highlighted an age-old dilemma that far too many American families face when it comes time to determine the best K–12 education for their children. Because our school system has historically been based on geography instead of student needs, families who can afford to […]

Ep. 47: Cool Schools with Regina Caeli Academy

In today’s Cool Schools edition of EdChoice Chats, Mike McShane interviews Kari Beckman. Fifteen years ago, she began homeschooling her own kids but felt like something was missing. So, she founded Regina Caeli Academies, which support parents’ homeschooling efforts with two in-classroom days of classical education.

Friday Freakout: Teachers Are Tired of Bureaucracy Too

Today’s freakout comes to us from a frustrated teacher in the comments of “Half of All School District Employees Aren’t Teachers” on Ricochet. This veteran teacher said it best. Public schools have become increasingly burdened with regulations, including additional mandated testing, data processing, and reporting. Often times and especially in Cow Girl’s case, administrators with […]

Ep. 70: Researcher Profile - Grant Clayton

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Director of State Research and Special Projects Drew Catt talks with Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning Grant Clayton at the University of Colorado about his journey from K–12 teacher to administrator to professor and researcher and his mission to “blow up” the way teachers-in-training think about schooling […]

Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for Students with Dyslexia Program

Mississippi has the nation’s only school choice program created exclusively for students with dyslexia. Enacted and launched in 2012, the program provides vouchers to families of children with dyslexia to attend accredited private schools with dyslexia therapy programs. On this page, learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility and restrictions.

Pennsylvania – Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program

Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program, enacted and launched in 2012, offers corporations tax credits for their donations to Scholarship Organizations (SOs) that provide private school scholarships. Students who meet the zoning and income requirements can receive scholarships funded from those tax credits. Learn more about the program, including funding, eligibility and rules, on this […]

Would School Choice Segregate Well-Off Students?

This post originally appeared on Jay P. Greene’s Blog. The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as the nation’s Secretary of Education is shining a national spotlight on educational choice. It has also drawn attention from school choice skeptics and opponents and a flurry of criticisms about choice with it. A recent report by Halley Potter of […]

Friday Freakout: What is Wrong with School Vouchers?

The Tennessean published an editorial by George Parker, a 30-year veteran public school math teacher, former president of the Washington Teachers Union, and current senior fellow at StudentsFirst, titled“School vouchers put kids’ needs first.” In the article, Parker explains how working for a teachers’ union influenced his opposition to school vouchers and why he’s had […]

Slate "Creates" New Issue with School Choice

Slate already posted a correction to its story that takes issue with school choice, “Publicly Funded Schools That Are Allowed to Teach Creationism.” Now it could use some context. Private schools accepting voucher or tax-credit scholarship students are not “publicly funded schools” any more than grocery stores that accept SNAP card users are publicly funded. But […]

Educational Choice for Nevada Public School Students Threatened By Lawsuit

Public school parents in Nevada are actively seeking ways to provide a better education for their children, as evidenced by the more than 2,800 applications submitted in just a few weeks for the state’s new, universal education savings accounts (ESAs). Despite the growing demand for ESAs among families—the most important stakeholders in public education—the American […]

Ep. 97: Researcher Profile - Emily Coady

Emily Coady is a doctoral academy fellow and graduate research assistant in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. She speaks with EdChoice Research Assistant Mike Shaw about how her experience as a fifth grade teacher and regional director for Teach For America Louisiana Delta led her to study education reform.

Top-Down Reform vs. Market Reform of K–12 Education

Newly elected officials interested in “improving” K–12 education might sound a lot like Optimus Prime: “Reform and roll out!” But just like the Transformers, although policymakers’ reforms will differ and change, they’re all inherently the same. America has seen “reforms” of public education since 1644, when Rev. Ralph Wheelock became the first teacher in the […]

The Next Accountability Part 2: Where We Get What We Want

In our society we are free to disagree about what is good, true and beautiful, and as a result we lack consensus about what is a good education. Since education policy cannot avoid saying something about what is good, we need to develop an approach to school accountability that points toward a free community where […]

Understanding the New IES Report on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Institute of Education Science (IES) recently released a report that analyzed first-year outcomes for students enrolling in D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) since its 2011 reauthorization. The OSP provides students from low-income families in D.C. with scholarships worth up to $8,452 for K–8 students and $12,679 for high school students. The IES research team […]

Can I Use a 529 Plan for K–12 Expenses?

If you’ve done much research into how to save for your child’s college education, you’ve probably heard of 529 plans. These plans, created as part of the Small Business Job Protection Act in 1996, were originally meant to give parents a tax-advantaged way to save for college expenses. Parents could get federal income tax benefits […]

Ep. 70: School Choice in Pop Culture - Harry Potter

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, two hardcore Harry Potter fans—our President and CEO Robert Enlow and our CRM and Email Marketing Manager Abby Hayes—get creative discussing the educational themes in one of the most beloved book and movie series of all time. Join the conversation with our video or audio-only podcast.

Oklahoma – Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

Oklahoma’s Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities provide students with special needs, in foster care, and those adopted out of state custody school vouchers to attend a private school of their parents’ choice. The program was enacted and launched in 2010. Students must have or qualify for an Individualized Education Plan or an […]

Montana – Tax Credits for Contributions to Student Scholarship Organizations

This tax-credit scholarship—Montana’s first school choice program—was enacted and launched in 2015. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court ruled the program unconstitutional and rendered it inoperable, and the ruling is being appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Although the program has universal eligibility for students, the current funding restrictions has limited its impact. Learn […]

Ep. 141: Legal Updates with Leslie - Montana and Maine

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, our Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner discusses recent school choice litigation across the country, including the amicus brief she recently filed with the United States Supreme Court.

K-12 Fiscal Relief in the Aftermath of COVID-19

K-12 education historically has been insulated from recessions, but the fallout from COVID-19 will strain state and district budgets and leave lawmakers and other public officials struggling to figure out financial solutions for years to come. Policymakers will be hard-pressed to find solutions to these challenges, but the answer is not growing the traditional system, […]

What to Do About ‘Bad Parents’ in K–12 Education

“This idea of parental choice, that’s great if the parent is well-educated. There are some families that’s perfect for. But to make it available to everyone? No. I think you’re asking for a huge amount of trouble.” Those are the words of a lawmaker in New Hampshire advocating the repeal of an alternative schooling program […]

Friday Freakout: Is the School Choice Movement Cultish?

Today’s freakout comes to us from the comments section of Diane Ravitch’s micro-post on her blog titled “Friedman Foundation disagrees with Peter Greene.”  Children have been playing the game “Simon says” for decades. One kid gets to be Simon and tell all the kids what to do. How does a child stand out as the […]

Friday Freakout: What Teachers Say to School Choice Advocates vol. 1

Our previous two blog posts on how top-down reforms are not market reform and how school choice actually increases demand for educators garnered a lot of attention from public school teachers on Facebook. As it’s one of our goals to listen and learn from more educators, we were excited so many were willing to take […]

Where the “Funding Competing Systems” Argument Falls Completely Apart

The new “gotcha” argument from school choice opponents is that school choice is inefficient. Charter schools and private schools create redundancies by duplicating the services, systems and governing structure of public schools. Some even take it a step further and argue that choice robs from traditional systems, and if it would go away, all that […]

Could We Solve Poverty and Pollution with School Choice?

It may seem obvious—people want to live near the best schools. But have you ever thought about the problems created when families flee weak school districts? Recently, while visiting Atlanta, I came face-to-face with a disheartening reality: the sight of neighborhoods in deep poverty sitting in the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers. These mammoth buildings contain […]

The Body of Evidence on School Choice: What You Need to Know

Researchers from across the country have conducted more than 100 rigorous empirical studies on the effects of school choice programs. Here’s what they found. Does School Choice Help or Hurt Students? The vast majority of random assignment studies—the gold-standard method in social science—find school choice programs help improve students’ academic performance, especially over time.   […]

The Next Accountability: Getting What We Want from Schools - Without Technocracy

For decades, the word “accountability” brought education reformers together. Today, it’s driving us apart. Our forefathers built the education reform movement on a foundation that all reformers shared: We need to hold schools accountable, so they’ll give kids the education we want them to get. Now we’re discovering cracks in the foundation. It turns out […]

Hoosier Views on Indiana's School Vouchers and More Survey Snapshots

Education has been at the forefront for Indiana citizens and lawmakers ever since the second term of former Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration. Indiana legislators have given various education issues a turn on the front burner over the years—funding levels, funding formula reform, test-based accountability, school choice, third grade reading, teacher evaluation, and more. But what […]

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Douglas County Vouchers Unconstitutional

Today the Colorado Supreme Court delivered a disappointing decision for hundreds of Douglas County students by ruling the first locally established school choice program in the country—the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Pilot Program—unconstitutional. About the Program The Douglas County Board of Education unanimously voted to create the program in March 2011, enacting the first and […]

Ep. 29: 2018 National School Choice Week with Andrew Campanella

Today on EdChoice Chats, we’re listening in on a conversation between EdChoice’s President and CEO Robert Enlow and his friend Andrew Campanella, the president of National School Choice Week. They talk about how National School Choice Week got started, how it has grown and what it means for the school choice movement.

Can Hybrid Home Schooling “Cross the Chasm?”

Hybrid home schooling proponents must tackle three questions to grow beyond early adopters and into the mainstream.   In 1991, Geoffrey Moore published Crossing the Chasm, a book about how new technologies get adopted. It would go on to become a massive international bestseller, selling more than 1 million print copies worldwide. In it, Moore […]

Ohio – Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program

The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship was enacted in 2011 and launched in 2012. It provides school vouchers to Ohio students with special needs to cover private school tuition and other educational services covered by their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). The Ohio Department of Education sets school voucher limits for different types of disabilities, so […]

Ep. 26: Cool Schools with ASU Prep Digital

Welcome to the first in a new podcast series we’re calling “Cool Schools.” In this series, our Director of National Research Mike McShane is not just celebrating innovative schools across America, but also opening minds to what is possible in education. In this episode, he spoke with Amy McGrath, COO of Arizona State University’s ASU […]

Six Reasons Rural Families Should (and Can) Have School Choice

A common argument against school choice in rural America is that there just aren’t enough schools from which to create rural school choice. But the more you understand about choice policy and the rural-schools landscape, the more you realize this argument actually distorts the facts, obscures rural students’ needs, and undersells the tools available to […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, July 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION District of Columbia Washington, D.C.’s fiscal budget request to Congress was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. In it, the District requested $45 million for its Opportunity Scholarship Program, a voucher funded by Congress.   Florida Citizens for Strong Schools v. Florida State Board of Education and Celeste Johnson, Case No. SC18-67 On July […]

Research Finds Higher Private School Share Directly Linked to Higher Test Scores, Stronger Human Rights Internationally

With the controversial nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, the concept of school choice has received increasing attention. Supporters and opponents of the concept have made bold claims about the effect of such programs on student outcomes and society in general. Theoretically, increased access to private school choice could improve educational quality […]

If You Think Expanding School Choice Is Expensive . . .

…consider the alternative! President Obama has yet again omitted funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in his recently proposed 2015 education budget. Although his reasoning is likely more philosophical than financial, his decision makes analyzing the fiscal effects of opposing school choice worthwhile. Data from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) show that taxpayers are […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States May 2014

Alabama – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn The Montgomery County Circuit Court struck down the Alabama Accountability Act as unconstitutional. The Accountability Act contains two private school choice programs: a tax-credit scholarship program and a refundable tax credit program. Judge Gene Reese ruled the Act violates the Alabama Constitution’s single-subject rule, which requires legislation to focus on […]

MILTON FRIEDMAN ON BUSTING THE SCHOOL MONOPOLY

Merit pay is a basic principle of a competitive market economy. “To each according to his or her product” is the market’s guide. I support a competitive market economy, yet I do not believe introducing merit pay into our present elementary and secondary school system will improve the quality of public education. Who Judges? Someone […]

Ep. 196: The Monthly Debrief - June Looking to July 2020

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s President and CEO Robert Enlow, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick, and our two state directors, Lauren Hodge and Jordan Zackery, discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states.

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, March 2019

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION National Indiana Rep. Jim Banks introduced the Education Savings Accounts for Military Families Act of 2019 in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow children of active-duty military members to use an education savings account (ESA) for tuition and a variety of educational expenses, up to $6,000 per year. Arkansas […]

Breaking Down "The Achievement Checkup"

More than 40 years ago, Stevie Wonder sang a plea for impoverished city kids in his hit “Living for the City,” in which he called for the larger community to work for a better day for those kids.  The plight of America’s low-income, urban children has been well-documented, through films, such asWaiting for Superman and […]

Ep. 184: Big Ideas - "Failure Up Close" with Jay Greene

Jay Greene, professor and chair of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, discusses the book he co-edited, Failure Up Close: What Happens, Why It Happens, and What We Can Learn from It. He breaks down what “failure” means and more.

Cool Schools: Season Two Roundup

In our Cool Schools podcast series, EdChoice’s Director of National Research Mike McShane spotlights some—you guessed it—cool schools across the country. McShane gets in the weeds, asking school leaders all the burning questions we education geeks care about. Season two of the series just wrapped, so if you’d like to binge those seven episodes and […]

Public Schools Should Rise Above [Which] Mark?

A new education documentary provides another glaring example of how the lack of consumer choice in K-12 education undermines the efficient allocation of resources to our schools. Unfortunately, the way the film portrays the recent squeeze on public school finances leaves out a lot of important context. Produced by Indiana’s West Lafayette Community School Corporation, […]

Friday Freakout: Buy School Choice Week Because of Evidence, Not Hearsay

Today’s freakout comes from a reblog at the anti-school choice National Education Policy Center (NEPC), which is funded in part by the two largest national teachers’ unions. In it, author P.L. Thomas makes many claims that would get any school choice supporter’s hackles up. Instead, we decided to examine each from a practical perspective.   1. […]

Friedman: School Choice is Effective

In reaction to our survey of Iowa voters, the University of Iowa’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Iowan, cast out some enticing bait in Jon Overton’s editorial “School choice isn’t effective”: “School choice is an insidiously popular option for trying to reform the education system. People like to think they’re in control, especially parents. And […]

Florida Governor Signs Nation's Second ESAs, Expands Tax-Credit Scholarships

Today Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed SB 850, a bill that creates the nation’s second education savings account program. The bill also expands key funding and eligibility aspects of the Florida’s tax-credit scholarships, the nation’s largest private school choice program (in terms of enrollment). Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program Florida created the Personal Learning […]

Texas Bill Aims to Create State's First Two School Choice Programs

UPDATE March 31, 2017 Before the Texas Senate passed SB 3, formerly a universal education savings account (ESA) bill, on March 30, the bill was amended in seven key ways. 1.  The bill now limits ESA eligibility only to students who have attended a Texas public school for one year prior to applying. 2.  Legislators […]

New Hampshire – Town Tuitioning Program

New Hampshire’s Town Tuitioning Program, enacted and launched in 2017, allows towns without district schools at a student’s grade level to use public dollars for students to attend any public or approved private, non-religious school in or outside of New Hampshire. The “tuitioning” district pays the tuition directly to the “receiving” schools. Learn more about […]

Massachusetts

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendment “No grant, appropriation or use of public money or property or loan of credit shall be made or authorized by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any infirmary, hospital, institution, primary or secondary school, or charitable or religious undertaking which […]

Ep. 71: Cool Schools with Build UP

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Mike McShane talks with the founder of Build UP, a new school launching in 2019 in Ensley, Alabama. In the podcast, Mark Martin shares his ambitious vision to help his students solve some of their core poverty-related problems.

Idaho

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination, or pay tithes against his consent ….” Idaho Const. Art. I, § 4. Blaine Amendment “Neither the legislature nor any county, city, town, township, school district, or other public […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States March 2014

Alabama – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn The Alabama House passed HB 558 that would amend the Alabama Accountability Act. The bill heads to the Senate for consideration. The bill would make the following changes: Define individual donors as shareholders or partners of S corporations or Subchapter K entities, and eliminate the $7,500 cap on all individual contributions. […]

Friday Freakout: Does Universal Public School Choice Result in Administrative Chaos?

Raleigh’s News & Observer published an article this week titled “NC bill would let students attend any public school” about a proposed bill that would allow open enrollment in North Carolina. The universal public school choice program would allow students to cross district lines without all the red tape and expensive fees parents must endure […]

America's Favorite Education Reforms: Do They Treat a Symptom or the Cause?

A new Friedman Foundation report released today found what education reforms were most popular, in terms of their perceived effectiveness, among surveyed adults. The graphic below shows where Americans ranked them in importance, with one perceived as the most efficacious, and seven viewed as the least efficacious.  When looking at Americans’ top three favored reforms […]

Friday Freakout: School Choice? But What About Transportation?

It’s rare to see truly novel arguments against school choice, so I’ve got to give Canadian journalist Jeremy Klaszus credit for creativity this week in his Metro News article “How Calgary’s streamed schools have devalued our neighbourhoods.” Klazsus is vexed because Calgary parents are choosing schools other than those that just happen to be closest […]

Friday Freakout: Is School Choice Racist?

A misconception we have seen multiple times is the relationship between school choice and race. This veteran’s recent tweet is just one example: If RickJarHead and others truly believe school choice supporters subscribe to Wallace’s segregationist views, perhaps choicers are not doing a good enough job promoting the research surrounding school choice’s effects on people […]

Why Do Experts Disagree on How to Approach Concentrated Poverty and Education?

In part one of this series, I described how more school options can lead to economic growth, particularly in high-poverty areas. In this post, I will address common misconceptions and criticisms of using school choice programs to promote local economic growth and development. Let’s start with a frustrating concern. How can so many experts come […]

New Report Finds Public School Integration Lags Integration in American Neighborhoods

Research Suggests School Choice Creates More Integration INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 28, 2015) – Although public school integration has improved since the end of the last century, it still lags the progress made in the neighborhoods those schools call home, according to new research from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. In The Integration Anomaly: Comparing the Effects […]

Friday Freakout: Forbes Editor Claims School Choice Kids Will Wreck Good Schools

This week Forbes published a piece by John Tamny that, in two sweeping pages, casts doubt on the ability of market forces to improve public schools, the intentions of school choice supporters, and the values of poor families. The title? “Let’s Stop Blaming Bad Teachers, And Start Blaming Bad Parents.” Sadly, Tamny isn’t the only […]

Ep. 108: Cool Schools with Mastery Charter Shoemaker Campus

In this episode of the Cool Schools podcast, EdChoice Director of National Research Mike McShane talks with Sharif El-Mekki, principal of Mastery Charter Shoemaker Campus. He talks about his journey for educational justice, how he effectively uses student and alumni surveys, where you can find some of his writing and more.

Ep 14: IL’s New School Choice Program with Jason Bedrick & Robert Enlow

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our President and CEO Robert Enlow talks with Director of Policy Jason Bedrick about Illinois’s recently-enacted Invest in Kids Program. They cover how the program works and who it serves, as well as the politics of passing a tax-credit scholarship bill in such a tough state. Listen to get […]

Friday Freakout: Are Schools that Use Marketing Tactics Bad?

As someone who experienced the 1990s as a teenager, I’ll confess that I listened to my share of Dave Matthews Band. In one song, backed by light guitar and keyboard, Mr. Matthews opines about “a typical situation in these typical times: too many choices.”  That line popped into my head when I recently read about a […]

Want Parents to Stop Cheating and Lying? Fix the Public Education System

Some parents will stop at nothing to provide the best opportunities for their children. The recent college admissions scandal is shining a bright light on this, and given that many of the parents being charged and pleading guilty are (very, very) wealthy individuals, the differences in educational opportunities between wealthy and low-income families couldn’t be […]

School Choice Opponents Defend the Indefensible

If your child was viciously bullied at school every day to the point that they wanted to harm themselves, what would you do? If your child was sexually assaulted at school and then told by an administrator that she had to go back to class with the student who brutalized her, what would you do? […]

Tennessee Senate Passes New School Choice Voucher Program, House Next

Tennessee is close to adopting what would be the 24th school choice voucher program in the nation. Today the Tennessee Senate approved SB196, the Tennessee Choice & Opportunity Scholarship Act, sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris (R), Sen. Brian Kelsey (R), and Sen. Jim Summerville (R). The sections below represent key parameters of this voucher proposal, […]

New Study Shows How Arizona Parents Spend Education Savings Accounts

Kasey Locke’s preschool teachers in Arizona tried to help her focus and stay on task at school. But as Kasey entered kindergarten, her parents, Jeff and Rebecca, wanted to use a specific treatment to help their daughter succeed. Doctors diagnosed Kasey with autism at 3 years old, and by the time she was ready for […]

Indiana – Private School/Homeschool Deduction

Indiana’s Private School/Homeschool Deduction program was enacted and launched in 2011. It allows parents to receive partial reimbursement for their schooling expenses. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

Unbundling: Rethinking How We Deliver Remedial Services to Students Who Need Them

The idea behind remediation in education is to bring a student who has fallen behind academically back up to speed with their peers by offering extra services. Federal and state funding for remediation programs have increased dramatically over time in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. Sadly, despite this large influx of money, achievement gaps between groups of […]

Ep 15: Why IN Parents Choose Survey with Drew Catt & Evan Rhinesmith

Authors of our newest research report, Why Indiana Parents Choose, Drew Catt and Dr. Evan Rhinesmith hop in the studio to discuss the responses of Indiana school parents from all sectors to a survey that aims to measure what motivates them to choose schools, their children’s schooling experiences, their awareness of school choice options, their […]

New survey shows room to grow, support for ESAs among Arizona private schools

Data also show Arizona private schools have grown more diverse over time INDIANAPOLIS — EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, has released Exploring Arizona’s Private Education Sector, its seventh installment of state-based research that looks at private school populations, enrollment, cost and participation in educational choice programs. The report combines original EdChoice research and […]

What Would Milton Friedman Say: Should parents opt out of standardized testing?

School choice typically is depicted, simply, as a family’s decision between a public or private school. But the freedom to choose in education actually goes much deeper, getting to the heart of what parents truly want for their kids on a day-to-day basis. An excellent example is the growing national and local trend in which […]

Friday Freakout: The Label You Give School Choice Programs Doesn't Change the Facts

Are school vouchers really a form of “welfare?” Recently, Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign argued in the Beloit Daily News that “truth in labeling” requires labeling the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program the “nation’s first scholastic welfare program” because the taxpayers are “picking up the tab.” Of course, following this logic, the Parental Choice […]

The Next Accountability Part 4: Who We Are

The crisis over accountability in the education reform movement is revealing that we lack a basis for building consensus on what makes a good education. Without at least some limited amount of consensus, the crisis will remain unresolved; perpetual political conflict over what we want from schools will be our fate. We can find such […]

Struggling Schools, School Choice and the Fear of Gentrification

Part I of this series described how giving families more school options can lead to economic growth, and in part II, I discussed how experts with the same facts can disagree about the nature of a problem based on their lens—thinking of solutions from inside vs. outside schools. In this post, I’ll examine another common […]

Schooling in America Series: The Public on School Choice

After a 2017 where school choice seemed to garner more headlines than ever thanks to federal proponents and policy proposals, this election year seemed subdued by comparison. K–12 education certainly made headlines, but school choice did not seem to carry over the same level of attention on the national stage. Despite this, public support for […]

Ep. 128: Cool Schools with Thrival Academy

In this episode, India Hui discusses taking students to Thailand for three months, engaging in mindfulness training, visiting an elephant sanctuary, and more. Thrival Academy is a one-year high school for 11th grade students. The school is considered a an innovation network institution part of Indianapolis Public Schools.

Unbundling: How K–12 Education Could Do Transportation Differently

As school districts across the country deal with uncertainty about how schools will reopen in the Fall as the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted, many organizations (such as AFT and AEI) have proposed guidelines for education leaders to consider as they pen their plans for reopening. Some of these guidelines include calls for physical distancing, screening […]

Ohio – Autism Scholarship Program

Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program, the nation’s only private school choice program designed only for students with autism, was enacted in 2003 and launched in 2004. The program offers vouchers of up to $27,000 to students with autism who receive private educational services, including private schooling. Learn more about the program, including its funding, eligibility, and […]

Indiana – Choice Scholarship Program

Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program was enacted and launched in 2011 and is now one of America’s largest school voucher programs. It is currently available to low- and middle-income families. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

What to Expect from Sen. Lamar Alexander's Federal Voucher Legislation

What does Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) introduction today of the “Scholarships for Kids Act of 2014” federal voucher legislation mean for the future of school choice? Allowing public education dollars to “follow” students makes sense at any level of government, from school boards all the way up to the federal government. Sen. Alexander’s proposal certainly […]

A New Type of Private School Choice?

Is Alaska on the verge of creating another private school choice model? Two days ago, the Alaska House passed an amendment to HB 278 to expand to private schools an existing tax credit for Alaska’s colleges, universities, endowments, and museums. The proposal is unlike any other school choice program in place, as it is not […]

Louisiana – Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction

Louisiana Elementary and Secondary School Tuition Deduction was enacted and launched in 2008. The individual tax deduction program is open to any taxpayer who has private schooling expenses. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Ep. 15: Why IN Parents Choose Survey with Drew Catt & Evan Rhinesmith

Authors of our newest research report, Why Indiana Parents Choose, Drew Catt and Dr. Evan Rhinesmith hop in the studio to discuss the responses of Indiana school parents from all sectors to a survey that aims to measure what motivates them to choose schools, their children’s schooling experiences, their awareness of school choice options, their […]

Friday Freakout: Why Do Parents Send Their Kids to Private Schools

CNN Parents posted an article entitled “Public vs. private school: What’s with all the judging?” that explores the subtle and overtly hostile ways parents can treat one another based on where they send their children to school. The post has received more than 2,400 comments as of the time of this posting, and, you guessed […]

Breaking Down "The Tax-Credit Scholarship Audit"

In 2014, we calculated the cumulative savings generated by America’s K–12 school voucher programs over two decades—$1.7 billion. This year, we continued that study by doing the same for seven states’ tax-credit scholarship programs, which cover 93 percent of total scholarships awarded to date. These types of school choice programs differ from school vouchers in […]

School Choice Assumptions: Suburban Parents

On any given Saturday evening in my suburban neighborhood a ritual takes place. Kids of all shapes and sizes pour into interconnecting back yards and start playing. Following closely behind, after the grass is mowed and the youth league games played, the adults pour out of the house with their glasses of wine or bottles […]

Friday Freakout: Private Christian Schools are Corrupt

This week’s post comes from Monday’s POLITICO story titled “Special report: Taxpayers fund creationism in the classroom.” The piece was not lacking in reader feedback: more than 14,000 comments so far. One such comment—which does not appear to be in response to any other posts—reads as follows: 66gardeners promoted the very poor judgment among Pasadena […]

Ep. 167: The Monthly Debrief - February Looking to March 2020

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s President and CEO Robert Enlow, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They discuss school choice firsts in South Carolina and legislation passed in Utah.

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – April 2020

LEGISLATION   Missouri Missouri legislators filed two education savings account bills, HB 2068 and SB 581, for students who are members of a household whose total annual income does not exceed two times the Missouri income standard used to qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. These two companion bills both aim to establish the “Show […]

How Technology and Choice Give High School Drop-Outs the Second Chance They Deserve

I am a high school drop-out. Despite graduating from college with honors, earning two graduate degrees and professional success, my status as a high school drop-out is difficult to admit, even to myself. It fills me with embarrassment and shame due to common misconceptions, namely that we drop-outs are dumb, lazy, apathetic and untalented. We’re […]

Breaking Down "A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice"

As educational choice grows, so does the evidence proving it works. In today’s release of the fourth edition of a Friedman Foundation flagship report—A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice—author Dr. Greg Forster says, “Twenty years ago, before this body of evidence existed, there was some excuse for making policy based on speculation, […]

Wisconsin

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[N]or shall any person be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, without consent .…” Wisconsin Const. Art. I, § 18. Blaine Amendment “[N]or shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of religious societies, or religious […]

New York

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendment “Neither the state nor any subdivision thereof, shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection, of any school or institution of learning wholly or in part […]

Schooling in America Series: The Public on K–12 Accountability

Late last year, we began taking a deep dive into the results from our 2018 Schooling in America Survey, our annual snapshot of the K–12 landscape in the United States. With education committees in session and semesters in swing, we thought it would be a great time to pick things up where we left off […]

Arkansas – Succeed Scholarship Program

Arkansas’ Succeed Scholarship Program is the state’s first school choice program. This school voucher program was enacted in 2015 and launched for the use of families in 2016. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

Utah – Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program

The Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program was enacted and launched in 2005. Under this program, students with special needs are eligible to receive private school vouchers of variable amounts. Learn more about this program’s funding, eligibility and regulations here.

Wisconsin – Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

Milwaukee’s Parental Choice Program was enacted and launched in 1990 and is considered the nation’s first modern private school choice program. It offers private school vouchers to low-income Milwaukee students. Learn more about this pioneering school voucher program, including funding, eligibility, rules and legal history, here.

Florida House Expands School Choice, Proposes New Program

Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill, HB 7167, that includes an expansion of the nation’s most-used tax-credit scholarship program and creation of the Personal Learning Scholarship Account Program for students with special needs, similar to the school choice education savings account (ESA) model in place in Arizona only.  School Choice Tax-Credit Scholarship Expansion STUDENT FUNDING […]

Breaking Down "Earning Full Credit"

Indiana is a national leader in school choice. Hoosier policymakers deserve credit for adopting innovative policies that help families enroll their children in the schools that work best for them. In addition to the nearly 30,000 students who received school vouchers last year, more than 11,000 students used tax-credit scholarships to attend schools of choice, […]

Mississippi's ESA Bill Breakdown

As the first national private school choice organization to work with parents and advocates in Mississippi, beginning several years ago, we are excited to share the news about their recent success. The Mississippi legislature passed Senate Bill 2695, an education savings account (ESA) program for children with disabilities that is now headed to Gov. Phil […]

Alabama – Education Scholarship Program

Alabama’s Education Scholarship Program is a tax-credit scholarship, which allows taxpayers who donate to nonprofit scholarship granting organizations to receive tax credits for their contributions. Learn more about the program on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

North Carolina – Opportunity Scholarships

North Carolina’s Opportunity Scholarships program was enacted in 2013 and launched in 2014. It provides private school vouchers to children of low-income households. Families can use these school vouchers to pay for tuition, transportation, equipment and other necessary private school expenses. Learn more about this program’s eligibility requirements, rules and regulations on this page.

Wisconsin – Parental Private School Choice Program (Racine)

Wisconsin enacted and launched the Parental Private School Choice Program in Racine in 2011. The program offers private school vouchers to Racine families who meet certain income restrictions. Continue reading this page for more program details, including funding, eligibility, regulations and more.

BRIEF: School Choice in the States March 2015

Alabama – Leslie Hiner @LeslieHiner The Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act on March 2. Alabama’s tax-credit scholarship and refundable tax credit programs, which serve low-income children with a preference for children in “failing” schools, are currently undergoing revisions through SB 71, which passed the Senate March 31. Although SB […]

What Parents Think About Getting to School During a Pandemic

I started working on a new survey project a little over a year ago—a national, cross-sector survey of parents on K–12 transportation in the United States. I wanted to know the ways transportation influences parents’ decisions regarding where to send their child(ren) to school; what parents’ major preferences, challenges and concerns related to school transportation […]

The Unbundling Series: Five Services Public Education Should Do Differently

The greatest superpower the world has ever known laid low by a pandemic, driving divisions that eventually lead to its downfall.  Sound worrying? No, we’re not talking about America, we’re talking about Ancient Rome. In the year 165 AD, a plague (probably smallpox) began to ravage the Roman Empire, killing roughly 20 percent of the […]

Studying the School Choice Student Transportation Problem

“If my child attends a school of choice, can I get help with transportation?” This is an incredibly common question amongst parents interested in taking advantage of inter-district enrollment programs, charter schools, or private school choice programs. They want to send their child to a different school, but they cannot get them there on their […]

EdChoice Public Opinion Tracker: Top Takeaways April 2020

We released a lot of data when we launched the EdChoice Public Opinion Tracker yesterday. And we mean a lot. In this blog post, I share eight key takeaways based on our January-to-April polling waves. We will update this tracker with new results by the first Tuesday each month. Subscribe to our email list or […]

ESAs in Missouri: A “Barren” School Choice Landscape

This is the first in a three-part series that looks at education savings accounts in Missouri and how they could empower every family and improve student outcomes. Where Things Stand in the Show-Me State School choice has seen tremendous progress over the past two decades. What began modestly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1991 with a […]

Reasons the Public Education System Has Become Increasingly Centralized

Beyond just the consolidation of America’s school districts I outlined previously, there have been four sizable waves that have eroded public schools’ abilities to differentiate themselves in order to provide real alternatives for consumers of K–12 education. This decrease in educational diversity in the public education system is not consistent with the desires of parents who have a variety […]

New Poll Shows Americans Are More Than A Little Confused About K–12 Education

The 2019 Education Next Poll is out, and we wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the key findings related to school choice and K–12 education in America. The big takeaway? Support for private school choice programs has increased, especially when it comes to tax-credit scholarships, which clock in at 58 percent support […]

Nevada ESA Litigation: What You Need to Know

Nevada created an education model for the nation in 2015 when it passed into law an education savings account (ESA) program under which more than 96 percent of all K–12 students are eligible for ESA funding (90–100 percent of the state’s average education funding for each child). This currently is the most sustainable, inclusive, equitable […]

California

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendments “No public money shall ever be appropriated for the support of any sectarian or denominational school, or any school not under the exclusive control of the officers of the public schools; nor shall any sectarian or denominational doctrine be taught, or instruction thereon be permitted, directly or indirectly, in […]

Friday Freakout: Cherry-Picking Better Than Nose-Picking, But Not By Much

School choice opponents have no shortage of unfounded arguments aimed at blocking parents from choosing the best educational fit for their own kids. One of their favorite talking points is that researchers “cherry-pick” data-driven reports that highlight only the most positive effects from school choice. Time and again, the Friedman Foundation and other choice advocates […]

Ohio

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or maintain any form of worship, against his consent .…” Ohio Const. Art. I, § 7. Education Articles “The principal of all funds, arising from the sale, or other disposition of lands, or other […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States November 2015

National Leslie Hiner participated as a panelist in American Enterprise Institute’s event, “With all deliberate speed: Brown v. Board of Education II 60 years later.” She spoke on the successes, challenges, and next steps for integration in schools. Also at the event, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice Senior Fellow Dr. Ben Scafidi presented findings from […]

Ep. 143: Researcher Profile - Kathaleena Monds

Kathaleena Monds, founding director at the Center for Educational Opportunity at Albany State University, discusses school choice, historically black colleges, education reform research and more in this episode of EdChoice Chats.

The "Fruits" and the Future of Centralization in Public Schools

Centralization in public schools through school district consolidation was pitched as a way to save administrative costs in American public schools. Instead, public school administration has mirrored the trend of virtually every other government input: growth. Such centralization has contributed to a decrease in the ability of parents to “vote with their feet” for better […]

Progressive to Progressive: Scare Tactics Won't Work

Anyone who’s ever worked in politics can tell you it’s far easier to be against something than to be for something. When I was a carefree 20-something working as the Communications Director for the Indiana Democratic Party, I helped craft and deliver opposition messaging that helped a number of Democrats prevail on Election Day. It […]

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Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program

The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program, a school voucher program, was enacted and launched in 2007 to help students with special needs access schools that best fit their educational needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.

Nevada – Educational Choice Scholarship Program

Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship program was enacted and launched in 2015. The tax-credit scholarship program allows corporations to claim a 100 percent tax credit when they contribute to approved scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs). The SGOs then provide private school scholarships to families who meet the income requirements. Learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility, and regulations […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – May 2020

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION   National In March, Congress passed The CARES Act, a multi-billion dollar COVID-19 relief stimulus bill that provided emergency relief block grants to states. These funds continued to be processed by states and school districts. In May, U.S. Department of Education guidance enabled governors to appropriate the law’s Education Stabilization Funds to best fit the […]

ESAs in Missouri: Designing What Works For Parents and the State Budget

This is the third in a three-part series that looks at education savings accounts in Missouri and how they could empower every family and improve student outcomes. As previously written, Missouri would do well to provide an education savings account to every child in the Show-Me State to make sure parents have the ability to […]

Arizona bill seeks to make ESAs available to all by 2020

UPDATE April 7, 2017 This nearly universal expansion of Arizona’s education savings accounts (ESA), SB 1431, passed out of the Senate last night in a 16-13 vote. Since our original publication of this blog post, an identical companion bill—HB 2394—was introduced. The House bill also passed out of its chamber last night in a 31-28 […]

Top and Bottom Five School Choice Moments in 2014

TOP FIVE 1. Kansas joins the school choice family It was not the same old song for education funding in Kansas this year. Rather, policymakers rose above the noise and confusion against private school choice, and included in their budget a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income students confined to low-performing schools. Given the program’s two-year […]

Ep. 118: Choice in the States - Tennessee with Justin Owen

In the first episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick chats with Justin Owen from the Beacon Center of Tennessee. They discuss fostering school choice programs and creating more robust eligibility pools for ESAs in the state. Plus, Jason provides an update on a bill passed in Tennessee last […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States October 2014

Delaware – Doran Moreland @Dmoreland9In early October, the Friedman Foundation released its Delaware K-12 and School Choice Survey. With the state’s legislature likely to consider education savings accounts (ESAs) in 2015, Paul DiPerna analyzed the survey’s ESA findings in this blog post. DiPerna also appeared on Delaware’s WDEL radio station to discuss the survey’s implications, which […]

Ep. 172: The Monthly Debrief - March Looking to April 2020

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s President and CEO Robert Enlow and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge chat with Emily Sass, policy director at the Center for Innovation and Education, about the latest school choice happenings in Texas.

Ep 8: Teachers Just Want to Teach with Stanton Skerjanec

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, EdChoice VP of Communications Jennifer Wagner is joined by Stanton Skerjanec, a teacher in Fort Collins, Colorado, who shared some of his views on educational choice, the challenges he has faced as a supporter in a family of public school educators and more. Listen now!

Ep. 43: An Update on Montana’s Tax-Credit Scholarship Case

In today’s episode of EdChoice Chats, Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner interviews Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner about Montana’s Espinoza v. Department of Revenue case, which involves the state’s tax-credit scholarship program. Leslie talks about why this case is so important and what it could mean for school choice programs around the […]

Improving America's Classrooms Through School Choice Part II

In a Part I of this series, I shared my wife’s and my history with K–12 public schooling before listing seven reasons why problematic public school classroom conditions have survived decades of education reform efforts. I discussed only the first three: Weak, often poorly targeted, incentives for educator effectiveness and parental involvement Classroom composition policies […]

What's on First: School Choice vs. Common Core

Many Common Core supporters say school choice and Common Core can work together to create the best system. Maybe they can, but school choice for all families must come first, and these two scenarios show why: School Choice First All parents are empowered to choose schools. Schools tailor their curricula and more to fit desires […]

What's "Wrong" with School Choice?

American education would be far better off if, instead of asking that question, more school leaders asked “What’s so wrong with my school that makes parents want to leave?” But rather than do that, in May, David A. Pickler used Louisiana as a case in point for “what’s wrong” with school choice. The only problem is, events […]

Friday Freakout: Some Public Schools Choose Not to Serve Every Child, Block Other Options

Rankin County, Mississippi parents of students with autism are upset after it was reported this week their public schools will be ending specialized classrooms for their children. According to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger: “The Rankin County School District will abolish a key component of its autism program next school year despite protests from parents who say […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, May 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION   Colorado  SB 18-083 was postponed indefinitely in Colorado’s House Education Committee. The bill, which would have created an income tax credit for private school tuition as well as for the funding of a private school scholarship, previously passed the Senate.   Florida The Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal […]

Friday Freakout: School Choice is OK Over There, Families Here Shouldn't Have It

A Sarasota County School Board member spoke out against her own state’s school board association for suing Florida’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program this week in Florida’s Herald-Tribune. She wrote, We are very fortunate to offer a variety of remarkable programs for our students in Sarasota County. However, at times, what we are offering may not […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States August 2014

Alabama – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn Thirty public school superintendents signed on to the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the school choice program provided under the Alabama Accountability Act. The law is presently in effect while being appealed in the judicial system. The Friedman Foundation filed an amicus curiae in defense of the school choice program. Colorado […]

Ep. 117 - EdChoice's 2018 Annual Review

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our President and CEO discusses how—in an era where people say school choice is ‘not going to go forward’—the demand for our training programs and research has increased. He talks about how the idea of ‘universal’ school choice continues to increase, roadblocks in the movement, and more. For even more […]

Mississippi's Senate ESA Bill Breakdown

Mississippi is closer to becoming the third state, behind Arizona and Florida, to adopt education savings accounts (ESAs), which allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds can cover private school tuition and fees, private tutoring, educational […]

Everything You Need to Know About Nevada's Universal ESA Bill

At the start of 2015, our team voted Nevada the state most likely to succeed that session, and it blew away our expectations. In April 2015, the state enacted its first school choice program, a tax-credit scholarship for low- and middle-income families. On May 29, the Nevada Assembly passed Senate Bill 302, a universal education savings account (ESA) […]

Mississippi – Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program

The Nate Rogers Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program was enacted and launched in 2013. It is the nation’s only voucher program designed for students with speech-language therapy needs. Students with qualifying special needs can apply for a voucher to help them attend a private school that offers speech-language therapy. Learn more about the program, including […]

Alabama – Accountability Act of 2013 Parent-Taxpayer Refundable Tax Credits

Alabama’s refundable tax credit program was enacted and launched in 2013. Different from traditional tax credit programs, refundable tax credits have greater utility for parents of more modest incomes. Learn more about the program on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

America's School Choice Yearbook Superlatives

The Friedman Foundation team put in our votes, and these are our winners. Check them out and tell us how you would have voted in the comments. Most Popular Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program If we gauge popularity by the number of families utilizing a program with real purchasing power, Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program would […]

Four Ways Evidence Shows School Choice Can Help Teachers

From the 11-day teacher’s strike in Chicago, the nation’s third largest public school district, to a looming Statehouse protest in Indiana, teachers and their working conditions are making headlines. Teachers’ unions tend to oppose educational choice policies, but there are several ways expanding choice could actually help teachers. Here are the four big ones.   […]

New UVA Study of Limited Help in Understanding School Vouchers

I know y’all are going to find this hard to believe, but a press release touting a recent study was over the top and could lead casual readers to misunderstand the paper’s findings. Since this never happens, I’ll give you a moment to take a few deep breaths and come to grips with what happened. […]

This Flexible, Customized Education Model Will Change Your Perception of Private Schools

Parents and educators know that every child is unique. Still, individualized instruction that addresses each student’s uniqueness remains elusive in many traditional schools—public and private. Brightmont Academy is a private school for grades 6–12 that uses a one-to-one instructional approach exclusively. Since 1999, Brightmont Academy has aspired to fill that void by customizing the educational […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States October 2015

National The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released a new report, The Integration Anomaly: Comparing the Effects of K–12 Education Delivery Models on Segregation in Schools, by Dr. Ben Scafidi. The report explores recent trends in both racial and income segregation in neighborhoods and schools and offers do’s and don’t’s for school choice programs aiming […]

Moving Toward School Choice 2.0

To say school choice has been on the march in recent years would be a major understatement. State after state has implemented school vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and, in especially innovative places like Louisiana and Arizona, course choice and education savings accounts (ESAs), respectively. More students than ever before have access to private school choice options. […]

Georgia

(As of July 2009) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: Private schools must provide 180 days of instruction each 12 months, with each school day consisting of four and one-half school hours. O.C.GA §20-2-690(b)(3), (d). The local school superintendent will report truants to the appropriate court after written notice to the parent […]

Ep. 72: Hope We Didn't Have Before - A School Choice Family's Story

In today’s EdChoice Chat, our CRM and Email Marketing Manager Abby Hayes chats with Jenny Clark about her family’s experience with Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the nation’s oldest education savings account (ESA) program. She talks about her sons’ specific challenges and how the ESA is helping them thrive.

Ep 2: Exploring Texas' Private Education Sector

Exploring Texas’ Private Education Sector showcases data from our eighth survey of a state’s private schools. This new EdChoice brief details the results of our survey of Texas private schools, including schools’ awareness of different types of educational choice programs, such as education savings accounts (ESAs) and tax-credit scholarships. You’ll learn whether private schools are […]

John Kristof

John is a research analyst for EdChoice, where he provides data collection, management and analysis for EdChoice state research projects, as well as quality control for research, writing for the EdChoice blog and other research aid.

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, October 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION National Children receiving a better education thanks to tax-credit scholarship programs may soon see those scholarships reduced or eliminated as a result of a new federal tax rule. Secretary Steve Mnuchin of the Department of Treasury released a new IRS rule applicable to federal deductibility of donations to state tax credit programs, […]

Arizona – “Switcher” Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Arizona’s “switcher” tax-credit scholarship program was enacted and launched in 2012. The law allows donors to receive tax credits for their donations to school tuition organizations, nonprofits that give private school scholarships to students. In tax year 2019, individual taxpayers that contributed to STOs under this switcher may claim a dollar-for-dollar credit of up to […]

Tennessee – Individualized Education Account Program

Tennessee enacted the nation’s fourth education savings account (ESA) program in 2015. The program, which launched in 2016, gives parents of students with special needs access to an Individualized Education Account (IEA). An IEA can be used for a variety of educational expenses, including private school tuition, private tutoring, learning therapies and more. Learn more […]

Louisiana – Tuition Donation Credit Program

Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Credit Program is a tax-credit scholarship program enacted and launched in 2012. It was designed to encourage donors to contribute to scholarship organizations that help students from low-income households access the private learning options best suited to their needs. Learn more about the program details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, […]

Illinois – Tax Credits for Educational Expenses

Illinois’ Tax Credits for Educational Expenses program was enacted in 1999 and launched in 2000 to help families afford the public, private or home school options that fit their children’s needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Louisiana – School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities

This school voucher program was enacted in 2010 and launched in 2011 to serve students with certain special needs. Louisiana’s School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities helps parents access the best schooling options for their children’s unique needs. Learn more about the program details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history […]

What Puerto Rico’s New Education Reform Bill Says About School Choice

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for education in Puerto Rico. On April 30, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a $589 million congressional package to aid Puerto Rico’s Department of Education following the destruction of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Then, thousands of protestors—including a large contingent of teachers—demonstrated in May Day […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, February 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION California Lawmakers in California proposed two school choice-related bills in February. AB 2480 would create a tax-credit scholarship program for personal and business taxes. Students from families earning 250 percent of the federal free and reduced-price lunch program would qualify. The credit value of donations to scholarship-granting organizations is listed as 100 […]

Explaining Virginia’s Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts (PCESA) Bill

After narrow defeat in 2015, Virginia may become the sixth state to adopt innovative education savings accounts (ESAs). The Virginia legislature passed a statewide ESA for students with special needs, HB 389, earlier this month. The Parental Choice Education Savings Account (PCESA) program now awaits Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s signature. If signed, HB 389 will provide […]

The 2017 EdChoice Yearbook Superlatives

The EdChoice team has put in its votes for this year’s educational choice yearbook superlatives, and these are our winners. Enjoy.   Most Empowering Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program Our team weighed purchasing power, funding stream stability and the ability of parents to use their funds flexibly to determine the educational choice program that empowers the […]

Ohio Education Savings Account Bill Expands Choice, Consolidates Programs

Today, the Opportunity Scholarship Program (SB 85) was introduced in the Ohio Senate. The bill, if passed as introduced, would create the Midwest’s first education savings account (ESA) program. Ohio currently has more voucher programs than any other state, and this bill would consolidate three of them: the Cleveland Scholarship Program—the nation’s second voucher program, […]

U.S. States Ranked by Educational Choice Share, 2019

Where are America’s students getting their education? Which types of schools and educational settings are they choosing? MID-YEAR UPDATE: With the recent release of results from the 2017–18 Private School Universe Survey, this post has been updated to include 2017–18 private school enrollment data, 2017–18 homeschooler estimates, 2016–17 charter school enrollment data, and 2016–17 public […]

Arizona

(As of July 2012) Registration: No requirements. Length of School Year and Days: To comply with the Arizona compulsory school attendance statute, private school students must attend school for the full time school is in session in the local school district. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-802B.1. State Approval: No requirements. School Accreditation: No requirements. Licensing: […]

Friday Freakout: AFT on the "Attack Plan of Privateers"

Today’s freakout comes from an exchange between Randi Weingarten, president of the nation’s leading teachers’ union, and a group called the Badass Teachers Association (BAT). The tweet is a picture of Weingarten presenting to around 3,500 teachers at the American Federation for Teachers (AFT) national convention in Los Angeles.  Weingarten’s approach is not surprising. As […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States August 2016

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION   Nevada – Michael Chartier @mchart1 It has been more than a month since the Nevada Supreme Court heard arguments in the Duncan v. State of Nevada and Lopez v. Schwartz cases—both lawsuits attempting to shut down a nearly universal education savings account (ESA) program for Nevada students. The court has yet to […]

Janus v. AFSCME: Why This Case Is Important to Teachers and Education Reformers

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that it is unconstitutional for a state or public-sector union to force non-consenting employees to pay union agency fees. Why is this important to those of us who support school choice?   A Little History Mark Janus is a state employee in Illinois who refused to join […]

West Virginia

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[A]nd the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this State, to levy on themselves, or others, any […]

What Are ESAs And How Do They Work?

“ESA” is an acronym used for more than 150 different organizations, technology, policies and other entities. European Space Agency. Endangered Species Act. Emotional Support Animal. Entertainment Software Association. Eastern Surfing Association. Economic and Statistical Analysis. But in the education world, ESA stands for “educations savings account.” In K–12 education, ESAs are state-based programs where parents […]

Continuing to Learn from School Choice in Washington D.C.

“There is no conclusive evidence that the [DC Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP)] affected student achievement.” This one statement, taken from a 214-page government report for which one of us (Wolf) was lead author, is often treated as the first, last and only word on the effectiveness of our nation’s only federally-sponsored private school choice program. […]

Nebraska

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship against his consent .…” Nebraska Const. Art. I, § 4. Blaine Amendment “1. Notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution, appropriation of public funds shall not be made to any school or institution of […]

Ep. 132: Choice in the States - Oklahoma with Brandon Dutcher

In this episode of our Choice in the States series, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick talks with Brandon Dutcher, senior vice president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. They discuss the beginnings of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities, and how the state’s tax-credit scholarship program has nearly doubled the number […]

Ep. 32: How Florida Families Use ESAs with Jason Bedrick & Lindsey Burke

Today, EdChoice released its latest research, a report on how Florida families are using the state’s Gardiner Scholarship Program, an education savings account (ESA) program for primarily for students with special needs. Click to listen to the interview, or visit www.edchoice.org/PersonalizingEducation to download the full report.

Ep. 18: Surveying the Military with Lindsey Burke & Paul DiPerna

Our new research, Surveying the Military, is the first of its kind and methodology to delve deeper into former and current military families’ thoughts on K–12 education in America. This 2017 survey of 1,200 active-duty military servicemembers, veterans and their spouses aims to help policymakers and the public better understand this important population’s perspectives on […]

Mapping Indiana’s K–12 Student Transfers

Earlier this year, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released its first ever Public Corporation Transfer Report showing how many students in each district exercised public school choice in Fall 2017. I’ve used the data in that report to create maps that show districts where students have left their schools to attend a different district […]

Friday Freakout: What Parents of Special Needs Students Say to School Choice Naysayers

Today’s post features our first parent advocate-written Friday Freakout response. If you’re a parent and would like to contribute your story and opinions as well, please contact info@edchoice.org. Recently, a friend brought to my attention an article in the Hechinger Report about proposed school choice legislation for students with special needs in Mississippi. The title […]

Michigan

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be compelled to attend, or, against his consent, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of religious worship, or to pay tithes, taxes or other rates for the support of any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion ….” Michigan Const. […]

Illinois

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent .…” Illinois Const. Art. I, § 3. Blaine Amendment “Neither the General Assembly nor any county, city, town, township, school district, or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation […]

Florida - Family Empowerment Scholarship Program

Florida’s Empowerment Scholarship Program was enacted and will launch in 2019. The program was created to alleviate the waitlist of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program while expanding school choice options for thousands of other low- and middle-income residents. It is Florida’s fifth school choice program and second operating voucher program. Learn more about the […]

America's School Choice Programs Ranked by Participation, 2018 Edition

Which of America’s school choice programs has the most students participating? What about the least? The 2018 edition of The ABCs of School Choice  gives the most up-to-date information we have on program participation. In this post we rank the programs by how many participants they have, based on the most recent data available for […]

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Participation, 2020 Edition

The 2020 edition of The ABCs of School Choice gives the most up-to-date information we have on program participation. In this post we rank the programs by how many participants they have, based on the most recent data available for each program at the time of this writing. Last year’s rankings are in parentheses following […]

Breaking Down Nevada's Tax-Credit Scholarship Bill

The Friedman Foundation team predicted Nevada would be the state “Most Likely to Succeed” in creating a new school choice program this year, and it appears it’s on its way. The Nevada legislature has passed Assembly Bill 165, a tax-credit scholarship for children from low-income families. The bill passed the Assembly on a 25-17 party […]

Illinois – Invest in Kids Program

Illinois’s Invest in Kids program, a tax-credit scholarship program for low- and middle-income students, was enacted in 2017 and launched in 2018, making it Illinois’s second educational choice program. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

South Carolina – Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children Fund

The South Carolina Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children Fund is a tax credit-funded scholarship program enacted in 2013, launched in 2014 and codified in statute in 2018. The program provides tax credits of up to 100 percent of individual and business donations made to the fund, up to 60 percent of a donor’s tax […]

Iowa – Tuition and Textbook Tax Credit

The Iowa Tuition and Textbook Tax Credit program was enacted and launched in 1987, and it allows parents to receive a limited tax credit for their educational expenses. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

Wisconsin – K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction

Wisconsin enacted this individual tax deduction in 2013 and launched it in 2014. All taxpaying families in the state are eligible and can apply for an individual tax deduction after paying for K–12 private school tuition. Learn more about this program, including eligibility, rules and regulations here.

The Decline of "Voting with Your Feet" in American Public School Districts

Historically, American public school districts have been governed by locally appointed or elected school boards, and families (mostly) have been free to live in whatever school district they wished. Several decades ago, this system provided a large degree of choice for many families, but over the past 70 years, choice among public school districts has […]

Private School Profiles: How Christ Lutheran School is Responding to COVID-19

Like many schools, Christ Lutheran School in Phoenix was on spring break when it became clear that COVID-19 was going to disrupt the school year. The school serves preschool through eighth grade. On the Friday of their week-long break (Friday the 13th, no less!), the administration met to game plan what changes might need to […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States January 2014

Alabama – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn The National School Choice Week Train had a whistle-stop event in Birmingham, January 24, to celebrate the new school choice programs provided by the Alabama Accountability Act. One of the event’s speakers, Bert Gall, an attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ), brought to light the Alabama Education Association’s lawsuit against […]

South Carolina

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendment “No money shall be paid from public funds nor shall the credit of the State or any of its political subdivisions be used for the direct benefit of any religious or other private educational institution.” South Carolina Const. Ann. Art. XI, § 4.1 Education Article “The General Assembly shall […]

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Participation, 2019 Edition

Which of America’s school choice programs has the most students participating? What about the least? In this post, we rank America’s school choice programs by how many participants they have, based on the most recent data available for each program and as reported in the 2019 edition of The ABCs of School Choice. Note: Last […]

Virginia

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever .…” Virginia Const. Art. I, § 16. Blaine Amendment “The General Assembly shall not make any appropriation of public funds, personal property, or real estate to any church or sectarian society, or […]

Report: Tax-credit scholarships have saved taxpayers at least $1.7 billion since 1997

Programs allow individuals, businesses to reduce tax liability by donating to nonprofits that in turn provide scholarships for students to attend private schools INDIANAPOLIS — EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, today released a new report that shows savings of at least $1.7 billion from 10 tax-credit scholarship programs operating in seven states […]

Maryland

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[N]or ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry ….” Maryland Decl. of Rights Art. 36. Education Articles “The General Assembly, at its First Session after the adoption of this Constitution, shall […]

Alaska

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendment “The legislature shall by general law establish and maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the State, and may provide for other public educational institutions. Schools and institutions so established shall be free from sectarian control. No money shall be paid from public funds for […]

Study Finds America’s School Voucher Programs Have Saved Billions

In our latest study, EdChoice’s Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis Marty Lueken examined the fiscal impact of voucher programs in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia—from their inception through FY 2015—to determine whether they generated costs or savings for state and local taxpayers. Find out what […]

Challenging Suburban School Choice in Douglas County, Colorado

“Do not mess with suburbanites, because frankly we’re just not gonna take it anymore.” That closing line from Tom Hanks’ tepidly reviewed comedy “The ‘Burbs” is truer than many realize. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan learned it last year when he criticized “white suburban moms.” Union leaders may soon face the same fate. In […]

Friday Freakout: Just Run for School Board if Your School Isn't Working

Instead of a “Friday Freakout,” consider this a financial freakout over the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program—as this exchange was prompted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Study contends voucher program save money, benefit public schools”: As an organization “solely dedicated to advancing…school choice for all children,” obviously we at the Friedman Foundation agree wholeheartedly with gabbyhayes—who […]

Minnesota

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[N]or shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent .…” Minnesota Const. Art. I, § 16. Blaine Amendments “[N]or shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of […]

FOUNDER'S LETTER

This foundation is the culmination of what has been one of our main interests for more than four decades: improvement in the quality of the education available to children of all income and social classes in this nation, whether that education is provided in government or private schools or at home. That interest began in […]

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Eligibility, 2020 Edition

At EdChoice, eligibility is one of the most important factors in analyzing a school choice program. We believe that all parents—regardless geography, income, or any other factor—should have access to the educational options that best fit their children’s needs. You can find specific program eligibility rates in this year’s ABCs of School Choice, or check out […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, January 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Colorado Colorado introduced SB 18-083, an income tax credit for private school tuition in the state senate. It was assigned to the Finance Committee January 12. In addition, a taxpayer would qualify for a credit upon providing a scholarship to a qualified child for enrollment in a private school. The credit value is […]

The Power of Educational Choice

The holiday season is a time for celebrating goodwill, kindness, generosity and, most important, family. In that spirit, we’re sharing three stories that highlight not just the moral imperative of educational choice, but also some amazing families. Happy holidays, EdChoicers! Enjoy.   The Visser Family Katherine and Christo Visser and their 10-year-old her son Jordan […]

U.S. States Ranked by Educational Choice Share, 2017

In my continual quest to provide the most comprehensive data possible, I have revamped how we look at the educational choice share, or EdChoice share. This year, the EdChoice share looks at what proportion of all K–12 students are enrolled in an education savings account (ESA), voucher or tax-credit scholarship program. To get this number, […]

Why Improving America’s Understanding of Special Needs Will Lead to More Educational Choice

The special education landscape has changed dramatically since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, was last reauthorized in 2004, and radically since the law was first written in 1975. Organizational, fiscal and medical aspects of special education are beyond a boiling point and have been driven to steam by a single handicapping condition: […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States December 2015

Minnesota – Brittany Corona @BrittanyLCorona The Friedman Foundation hosted an educational summit for about 40 Minnesota legislators in Chicago in early December. The summit featured expert presentations on the four types of school choice programs: education savings accounts, vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and tax credits and deductions. Presentations also included breakdowns of the existing research on […]

Rhode Island – Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Organizations

Rhode Island’s tax-credit scholarship program, enacted in 2006 and launched in 2007, offers a 75 percent tax credit to businesses that donate to scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs) or 90 percent if donated for two consecutive years and the second year’s donation is worth at least 80 percent of the first year’s donation. SGOs are non-profits that […]

Montana's Universal Tax-Credit Scholarship Bill Simplified

UPDATE – December 11, 2015  This universal tax-credit scholarship has officially been launched in Montana. For the most up-to-date information on the program, including rules and regulations, click here to visit the program page. UPDATE – May 12, 2015 Montana Gov. Steve Bullock let SB 410, a universal tax-credit scholarship bill, become law without his signature. The Montana Constitution […]

Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships

The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships program was enacted in 2011 and launched in 2013. The program gives individuals and businesses a 50 percent tax credit for contributions made to nonprofit organizations that provide school scholarships to students who meet the income and/or zoning requirements. Learn more about the program, including funding, eligibility and regulations, […]

Friday Freakout: What to Do When Editorial Boards Don't Fact Check 'Expert' Claims

Amidst the celebration of National School Choice Week, Indiana’s Journal Gazette published an editorial calling for an independent, empirical study of Indiana’s school voucher program. That is a fair ask and not actually the catalyst for today’s freakout. One very powerful word inspired my piece today: anywhere. In its editorial, the Journal Gazette team relied […]

Pope Francis' Visit Should Open Minds to School Choice

For almost a week, Americans of all faiths—or of none—got a lengthy dose of a message of hope and charity. Pope Francis’ visit to the United States highlighted good will toward those in need, especially children and those with special needs. The Pope even visited a Catholic school that serves low-income students in Harlem. The […]

The 10 Most Popular Episodes of EdChoice Chats

Where can you find Harry Potter, a hybrid home school, and first-of-its-kind research?  No, this isn’t a punchline. It’s our podcast, EdChoice Chats! Celebrate National Podcast Day with us by counting down our top 10 most-listened-to tracks of all time. To subscribe to our podcast for more great episodes, check us out on any of […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, April 2019

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Arkansas  After passing the Arkansas Senate during the last week of March, SB 539 died in the Arkansas House of Representatives in late April. The bill would have established a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income students and those already eligible to participate in the Succeed Scholarship Program. A pilot tax-credit scholarship bill for […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States May 2016

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Arizona – Michael Chartier @mchart1 The Arizona legislature expanded the states education savings account (ESA) program by making children who are legally blind and/or deaf or hard of hearing eligible. The state also opened the ESA program to a year-round application window. Arkansas – Brittany Corona @BrittanyLCorona Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed on May 9 the state’s 2016–17 budget, […]

The Right Reasons for Supporting (or Opposing) School Choice

Note: A shortened version of this post was originally published on Education Next. We are at a critical point in the long history of education reform. The politicized issue of school choice has received sustained national attention since the election of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The subsequent nomination of Betsy DeVos as […]

The Trillion Dollar Problem: Pandemic Puts State Pension Plans At Even Greater Risk

Public pension plans in the United States face about $1 trillion in investment losses due to the COVID-19 recession, according to a recent report by Moody’s. Before the COVID-19 recession hit, states already faced more than $1 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This situation does not bode well for states, school districts and certainly teachers. In […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, September 2017

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Wisconsin Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a budget bill that increased the income limit to participate in Wisconsin’s statewide voucher program from 185 percent of the federal poverty line (about $45,500 for a family of four) to 220 percent (about $54,000 for a family of four). The bill also eliminated the requirement that […]

7 Observations on Oklahoma Voters and Pre-K–12 Education

An ambitious school choice proposal is on the table in Oklahoma. Last week, state legislators introduced a bill to create an education savings account system (ESA) for low- and middle-income students. (See a short video of the press conference and an explanation of how ESAs work.) The proposal is bigger than Arizona’s ESA program, a […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States, March 2018

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION California  California’s proposed tax-credit scholarship, AB 2480, saw amendments and was re-referred to the Standing Committee on Revenue and Taxation. The state’s proposed education savings account, SB 1344, was referred to various committees and is set for a hearing. Connecticut Connecticut introduced HB 5340, an act to study the creation of education savings […]

EdChoice Public Opinion Tracker: Top Takeaways June 2020

What will “back-to-school” look like this fall? That question currently is dominating headlines in education news outlets as well as throughout the much broader media landscape. You can check out recent pieces at The New York Times, The Atlantic, Science, USA Today, POLITICO, and Bloomberg—and those have published just this past week! The summer months […]

Friday Freakout: Is Federal School Choice Best for Americans?

House Speaker John Boehner spoke this week about a five-step plan to boost economic growth. Part of that plan includes school choice: “That’s why we created the first federally-funded private school choice initiative in America, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. And I’ll tell you what: it is succeeding beyond even our highest expectations. 97 percent […]

North Carolina – Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities

This North Carolina school voucher program was enacted in 2013 and launched in 2014. Students with qualifying special needs are eligible to receive school vouchers, which are awarded by semester, rather than school year. Families may use vouchers to pay private school tuition or homeschool services. Learn more about the program’s participation rates, funding, rules […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States – July 2020

Federal Senators introduced the School Choice Now Act, a bill that would provide a one-time emergency appropriation for state scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs) to maintain scholarship amounts likely to be affected by a decrease in donations from the pandemic. The bill provides a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit for donations to SGOs, capped at $5 billion per […]

The 2020 EdChoice Yearbook Superlatives

We caffeinated. We debated. We declared this year’s yearbook superlatives, including most likely to succeed in 2020. It’s National School Choice Week, and that means it’s time for the EdChoice team to dig into the states’ school choice policies and efforts. What was the movement’s biggest setback? What was the most inspiring development of the […]

Ep 1: The Private School Landscape with Drew Catt

Listen as EdChoice Director of State Research and Policy Analysis Drew Catt discusses a new research report concluding that school choice programs across America have not delivered increases in private school enrollment or capacity over the past two decades. The Private School Landscape: The Effects of School Choice on Student Capacity and Composition also looked […]

New Mexico

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “No person shall be required to attend any place of worship or support any religious sect or denomination ….” New Mexico Const. Art. II, § 11. Blaine Amendments “[N]o part of the proceeds arising from the sale or disposal of any lands granted to the state by congress, […]

Low-Income Baltimore School Choice Students Graduate Early, Attend College at Above Average Rates

INDIANAPOLIS (April 20, 2015) – A survey report released today finds recipients of a privately-financed Baltimore scholarship program for low-income families graduate high school early and go to four-year colleges at higher rates than local and national averages. The Achievement Checkup, a Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice survey released today, tracks the long-term progress of […]

Minnesota – K–12 Education Credit

Minnesota’s K–12 Education Credit program was enacted in 1997 and launched in 1998. The individual tax credit program offers families a refundable tax credits for non-tuition educational expenses like tutoring, educational after-school programs and books. Learn more about this program, including the value of the tax credit and student eligibility on this page.

Simulation: How a Parent Chooses a School for Their Child

The idea that impoverished parents shouldn’t be trusted to choose a good educational option for their children is one repeated often by school choice critics. For instance, Michael Walker Jones of the Louisiana Association of Educators was quoted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune saying, “If I’m a parent in poverty, I have no clue because […]

Friday Freakout: Private Schools Have "Cut Rate Teachers"

Welcome to our new series, where every Friday we highlight online comments from stories we see posted by people impassioned about education. This week’s exchange comes from the comments section of the well-known Politico story, “Vouchers don’t do much for students,” and how some readers reacted to private school teachers. Have a look and tell […]

Philadelphia Families Stuck on Waiting Lists Calling for School Choice

The birthplace of our nation is also one of the key cities that became a wellspring for modern-day school choice programs. Unfortunately, Philadelphia freedom is unnecessarily at risk. In the late 1990s, private foundations in Philly began providing scholarships to children from low-income families so they may attend the private school of their parents’ choice. […]

Stay The Course: We Have To Be “We Bes” To Make Change

By Jennifer Wagner EdChoice is the oldest group in the nation solely dedicated to advancing school choice. Dr. Friedman and his wife, Rose, founded the organization in 1996. We’ll be a quarter-century old next year. That means we’ve endured six — soon to be seven — presidential elections and dozens at the state and local level. Power has shifted from one […]

Ep. 25: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? with Robert Enlow

In this podcast episode, EdChoice Vice President of Communications Jennifer Wagner chats with President and CEO Robert Enlow about the year behind and the year ahead. They discuss the major school choice events of 2017, including Arizona’s education savings account (ESA) expansion and EdChoice’s own rebrand. Then they dive into what we expect and hope […]

Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program

This tax-credit scholarship program was enacted and launched in 2001 to serve students from low-income households. Of America’s school choice programs, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is one of the largest in terms of student participation. Learn more about it on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Explaining Tennessee's ESA Bill

We are excited to soon welcome Tennessee to the school choice family. Tennessee is on the verge of joining Arkansas and Nevada, two of our nation’s newest school choice states, by becoming the 27th state to enact its first school choice program. Having worked with dedicated policymakers and parents in Tennessee for many years, we are […]

Georgia – Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit

Georgia’s Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit, a tax-credit scholarship program, was enacted and launched in 2008 to help students in public school access schools that best fit their needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history, and more.

New Hampshire – Education Tax Credit Program

The New Hampshire Education Tax Credit Program, enacted in 2012 and launched in 2013, gives tax credits to businesses and individuals that donate to scholarship-granting non-profits. Families who meet the income requirements can receive scholarships they may use towards private schooling, tutoring, online learning, classes at colleges or universities, and/or homeschooling expenses. Learn more about […]

Arizona – Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Arizona was the first state to enact an education savings account program, the newest school choice mechanism. The passage and launch of the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts program in 2011 opened the door to new learning opportunities for students with special needs and circumstances. Learn more about how the program works on this page, including eligibility, […]

Arizona – Low-Income Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Arizona’s Low-Income Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program passed in 2006, and it launched in the same year. This tax-credit scholarship program allows corporate taxpayers to receive tax credits for their donations to nonprofit organizations that provide school scholarships to K–12 students from low-income families. Learn more about the program on this page, including eligibility, […]

America’s School Choice Programs Ranked by Eligibility, 2019 Edition

At EdChoice, eligibility is one of the most important factors in analyzing a school choice program. We believe that all parents—regardless of geography, income or any other factor—should have access to the educational options that best fit their children’s needs. You can find specific program eligibility rates in this year’s ABCs of School Choice, or […]

Central Planning Escape: An Essential Economic Argument For K-12 ESAs

By Dr. John Merrifield Q: Why is our traditional K-12 education system so inefficient; costs too much; leaves a lot of children massively under-educated? A: It operates in ways that are always, predictably, very inefficient. There are only two ways to decide what is taught, where, how, and to whom. Similarly, there are only two […]

Schooling in America Series: Teachers’ Views on Accountability and School Choice

Last fall, a Florida public school teacher went viral when she released a letter decrying the state of her district’s accountability system and the view of students in the K–12 education machine. “Children are not data points,” Hicks wrote. “Teachers are not cattle herders. Yet, the district maintains an incessant and desperate need to pigeon […]

The Roots of Educational Freedom

This is the second in a larger blog series about liberating education through educational freedom.   There is a strange notion going around that school choice advocates are on the retreat or at the very least have pivoted from long-held reasons for supporting choice. Those promoting this theory are mistakenly focused on just one small […]

Howard Henderson

Dr. Howard Henderson is founding director for the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University – a Historically Black College or University.

Times Like These: Why You Should Build A Real, Committed Grassroots Army

By Jennifer Wagner Buying a domain name, launching a website and making a public announcement are the first steps toward building a grassroots network of supporters. They also happen to be the easiest steps. The community commitment or engagement curve. This one is designed for an online community, but the same basic principles apply to grassroots organizing: […]

Teaching At Home: The Best-Laid Plans Turn Into A Very Different Reality

By Jennifer Wagner In case you missed it, we’re all teachers now — and probably will be for the rest of the school year. Teachers are amazing. My parents were teachers. I love helping the kids with their homework and chaperoning their field trips and hearing about their days when they get home from school. I am part of a broad […]

Friday Freakout: Want an Educated Citizenry? Support School Choice

“[The] future of our economy depends on a well educated citizenry,” argued Karen Patton of the League of Women Voters (LWV) in Montgomery County, Indiana in a recent op-ed. She concluded:“democratic government depends upon [citizens’] informed and active participation.” I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I think it’s a shame that the LWV “opposes the […]

Ohio – Income-Based Scholarship Program

Ohio enacted and launched its Income-Based Scholarship Program in 2013. It offers private school vouchers to students from low- and lower middle-income households. Continue reading to learn more about this program’s funding, eligibility, regulations, governing statutes, and more.

Mississippi ESAs Closer to Governor's Desk

Mississippi is closer to becoming the second state, behind Arizona, to adopt education savings accounts, which allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States August 2015

National Education Next released its ninth annual survey on K–12 education, “The 2015 EdNext Poll on School Reform: Public thinking on testing, opt out, Common Core, unions and more,” by Michael B. Henderson, Paul E. Peterson, and Martin R. West. The report also includes an interactive site of poll results. The Center for Education Reform […]

Mississippi – Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Program

The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Program, an education savings accounts program, allows Mississippi students with special needs to receive a portion of their public funding in a government-authorized savings account with multiple uses. The program was enacted in 2015 and launched in fall 2015. Read on for more information about funding, eligibility […]

Mississippi Legislature Advances School Choice ESAs

UPDATED BELOW With the advance of its school choice ESAs, Mississippi is closer to becoming the second state, behind Arizona, to adopt education savings accounts, which allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds can cover […]

Puerto Rico - Free School Selection Program

Puerto Rico’s first school choice program was enacted in 2018 and launched during the 2019–20 school year. The program allows students who have been enrolled in either traditional public or charter schools for at least two years to use vouchers to attend the private or public school of their choice. Gifted students may also use […]

Top 5 Ways the New White House Can Support School Choice for Families

  Although K–12 education didn’t feature heavily into the 2016 race for the White House, President-elect Donald Trump has not been shy about his support for school choice, even making it part of the agenda he’s promising for his first 100 days in office. And it’s no secret that Vice President-elect has been a longtime […]

Governor Signs Tax-Credit Scholarships, Makes Kansas 24th School Choice State

UPDATE Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2506 today, ushering Kansas into the school choice club with tax-credit scholarships.  Now, 24 states and the District of Columbia allow publicly funded private school choice. Today is a culmination of years of work and an ever growing coalition.  Just last month, Kansas parents and supporters hosted a rally […]

The Five Best and Worst School Choice Moments of 2015

Best 1. Nevada enacted two educational choice programs. We predicted in 2014 that Nevada would be the state “most likely to succeed” in becoming a new school choice state in 2015. We were right, but Nevada’s success far exceeded our expectations. The state passed not one, but two educational choice programs. It became the 26th […]

American History of the "V" Word

This is Part I in Gerard Robinson’s series on “Vouchers and the Masters of Invention” As a slogan, freedom of choice has a home in movements ranging from association to abortion. In between those ideological ends are policy proposals focused on housing, food, and education that also rely on choice. In each case, taxpayer dollars […]

Montana Governor Vetoes ESA for Students with Special Needs

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed HB 322 last week. The bill, which would have created an education savings account (ESA) program for students with special needs, journeyed a path filled with fits and starts. The ESA bill marched easily through the House of Representatives passing on a third reading vote of 57-41 before being transferred […]

Iowa – School Tuition Organization Tax Credit

The Iowa School Tuition Organization Tax Credit program, a tax-credit scholarship program, was enacted and launched in 2006. It helps Iowa students from low- and middle-income households to afford the schooling options that best fit their needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.

Indiana – School Scholarship Tax Credit

Indiana’s tax-credit scholarship program was enacted in 2009 and launched in 2010 to help low- and middle-income families access the right school for their children’s needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Arizona – Original Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The Arizona legislature passed this program in 1997, and it launched in the same year. This tax-credit scholarship program allows taxpayers to receive tax credits for their donations to nonprofit organizations that provide school scholarships to K–12 students. Learn more about the program on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

Florida – Hope Scholarship Program

This program allows purchasers of motor vehicles to contribute their vehicle sales tax to fund private school scholarships. Hope Scholarships may be used by students who are victims of bullying or are physically attacked in school. These students may also transfer to other public school districts. The program was enacted and launched in 2018. Learn […]

Pennsylvania – Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program

The Pennsylvania legislature enacted and launched the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program in 2001. The program offers corporations tax credits for donating to organizations that provide low- and middle-income families private school and prekindergarten scholarships, as well as organizations that support innovative public school programs. Learn more about this program’s funding, eligibility and regulations on […]

Kathaleena Edward Monds

Dr. Kathaleena Edward Monds is founding director of the Center for Educational Opportunity at Albany State University – a Historically Black College or University.

State Of The Unions: Let’s Not Be So Hasty Comparing Police To Teachers

By Jennifer Wagner There has been much debate in recent weeks about criminal justice reform following the killing of George Floyd and a series of high-profile cases of police brutality against African-Americans. Police unions have found themselves squarely in a very harsh spotlight. Because the word “union” is being bandied about, some in the school choice […]

Alexis Price

As EdChoice’s senior marketing associate, Alexis drives meaningful engagement by creating dynamic web, social media and email content.

Abby Hayes

Abby has been part of the marketing team at EdChoice since 2015. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two kids.

An Open Letter To My Son With The Bugatti Brain

By Jennifer Wagner To my sweet, kind, inquisitive son: I love you so much. I love how you tell us all about the latest Fortnite updates and perform all the dances — and how your passion for the game hooked us all into playing with you. I love how you run on the beach without a care in the world. An […]

On Being Non-Essential: It Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Important

By Jennifer Wagner “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” I’ve always appreciated that Douglas Adams quote — and I’m drawn to it more than ever in these strange pandemic times. Deadlines are boundaries. Deadlines give us structure. We need deadlines, even if they whoosh by. Especially as they whoosh by. They keep […]

HELP Us Change Our Mind and (Not) Open Schools Too Soon

By Drew Catt As a native of Indiana and science fiction fan, I grew up loving Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and was downright giddy when Stranger Things lasted more than just one season. Both of those storylines, in some ways, seem more plausible than what we’ve been experiencing in 2020. While I certainly […]

Beyond Rallies: Five Grassroots Activities That Probably Are Easier (And More Effective)

Beyond Rallies: Five Grassroots Activities That Probably Are Easier (And Just As Effective) By Jennifer Wagner Everyone loves the idea of a rally to support their cause: thousands of people with clever homemade signs and catchy chants filling a public space. Television cameras everywhere! Public officials listening to meaty speeches layered with compelling personal stories. It […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States September 2015

Colorado – Brittany Corona @BrittanyLCorona Douglas County, Colorado was awarded an extension on September 24 to seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the district’s Choice Scholarship voucher program. The program is a universal, district-wide school voucher program, which briefly served about 500 students in 21 schools […]

2018 Annual Review

We’re proud of the work we do each year to advance educational choice and opportunity in America. Here are our key highlights from 2018:      Read more about school choice strides in 2018 State-Based Work: We are on the ground supporting coalitions in key states that are driving high-quality educational choice policy. Seven […]

The Jewish Story of Education, And What It Means for School Choice

The small flames flickering in the windows of Jewish homes this time of year, commemorating the festival of Chanukah, belie the holiday’s monumental message—a message, as it happens, that resonates powerfully today. On its surface, Chanukah celebrates the successful rebellion of the Jews in the Holy Land against the Seleucid Empire. But the holiday holds […]

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: May 15, 2019 EdChoice, Inc. (“EdChoice,” “we,” “us,” “our”) is committed to protecting the privacy of your information.  The following Privacy Policy sets forth our policies and practices regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of the information we receive through your use of our website at http://www.edchoice.org (the “Site”).   Information We Collect […]

Ep. 23: Legal Defense and Education Center with Leslie Hiner

In this episode of EdChoice Chats, our Vice President of Communications (and a lawyer in her own right) Jennifer Wagner sits down with our Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner to introduce EdChoice’s new Legal Defense and Education Center, or LDEC. Listen to learn why we developed this new center and what type of […]

JAMES G. BLAINE: Who was he, and how is he affecting children's education today?

Maine legislator and presidential hopeful James G. Blaine (1830–1893) was a member of Congress in the mid- to late 1800s, a time when Catholic immigrants were flooding into the country and public schools were overwhelmingly Protestant. Catholic immigrant students were encouraged to assimilate in public schools. Desiring an educational option that was consistent with their […]

EdChoice VP of Legal Affairs on Supreme Court of Puerto Rico dismissing challenge to vouchers, charters

INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, released the following statement from Vice President of Legal Affairs Leslie Hiner on the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico’s ruling in Asociación de Maestros v. Departamento de Educación: “Today, children in Puerto Rico won a great victory when the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico […]

Choose Your 2017 School Choice in America Legislator Summit

EdChoice will host three School Choice in America Legislator Summits in 2017. These two-day events will bring together state legislators interested in learning more about educational choice; how it works, what the research says and what it means for constituents. School Choice in America Summits this year:   Deep Dive into School Choice: Program Design, […]

Ep. 57: The Monthly Debrief – June to July

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier break down the legislative movement of private educational choice bills in the states in June and look forward to what’s to come in July.

Update on Tennessee ESA Litigation

UPDATED (JUNE 4): On June 4, the Supreme Court of Tennessee denied requests for that court to accept jurisdiction of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County et. al. vs. Tennessee Department of Education et. al., No. M2020-00683-COA-R9-CV, the case against Tennessee’s new Education Savings Account Pilot Program (ESA Pilot), That case is currently before the […]

South Dakota – Partners in Education Tax Credit Program

South Dakota’s Partners in Education Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2016, launched in 2016, and began providing scholarships in 2016–17. This program provides tax credits to insurance companies who donate to nonprofit scholarship granting organizations (SGOs), which then provide private school scholarships to students who meet the income and grade requirements. Learn more about […]

Georgia

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendment “No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.” Georgia Const. Art. I, § II, Para. VII. Education Articles Pursuant to laws now or hereafter enacted by the General Assembly, […]

New Jersey

Constitutional Provisions on Education Compelled Support Clause “[N]or shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right or has deliberately and voluntarily […]

Arizona

Constitutional Provisions on Education Blaine Amendments “No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment.” Arizona Const. Art. II, § 12. “No tax shall be laid or appropriation of public money made in aid of any church, or […]

Ep. 68: The Monthly Debrief – September Looking to October 2018

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge and Director of Policy Jason Bedrick discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states in September and look forward to what’s still to come as we close out the month.

Ep. 62: The Monthly Debrief – July Looking to August 2018

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states in July and look forward to what’s still to come as we close out August 2018.

Ep. 118: The Monthly Debrief - May Looking to June 2019

In this Monthly Debrief podcast, EdChoice’s Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states. They talk about everything from a pilot ESA program in Tennessee to an appropriations bill in North Carolina.

Ep. 152: A New Era for K–12 Education Funding

Our VP of External Relations Brian McGrath, Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis Marty Lueken and EdChoice Fellow James Shuls discuss big takeaways from this year’s Walton Finance Symposium.

Sensible K–12 Governance and Why It Probably Won’t Happen

Daarel Burnette of Education Week wrote a provocative piece earlier this month titled “Face It, School Governance Is a Mess.” His core argument is tough to dispute: No one knows who is in charge of K–12 education. If you don’t like something going on in your child’s school, who do you go to? Your local […]

Wisconsin – Special Needs Scholarship Program

Wisconsin’s Special Needs Scholarship Program, enacted in 2015, is the state’s fourth school voucher program. This program was launched for families to use in the 2016–17 school year. Learn more about the program’s details, including eligibility, funding, regulations, and more, on this page.  

2020 School Choice Legislative Preview

This post might be a bit of a downer, but we’re not expecting 2020 to be a banner legislative year for school choice. That’s not because there’s nothing happening. In fact, choice—whether it’s charters or access to private schools—has been getting lots of headlines. There also are a number of high-profile legal cases moving through the courts that could affect […]

Virginia – Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program

Virginia enacted the Education Improvement Scholarships Tax Credits Program in 2012, and launched the program in 2013. This program offers a 65 percent tax credit to individuals and businesses to donate to qualified scholarship foundations. The foundations then provide private school scholarships to students whose families meet the income requirements. This page offers more information […]

America's School Choice Programs Ranked by Participation, 2016 Edition

Which of America’s school choice programs has the most participants? Which has the least? The latest edition of The ABCs of School Choice gives the most up-to-date information we have on program participation. Here, we’ve ranked the programs by how many participants they have. Eligibility, regulations, and funding also play important roles in how people […]

Minnesota – Education Deduction

This individual tax deduction program, enacted in 1955, allows parents to deduct educational expenses, including tuition, tutoring, books and more. Eligible expenses reduce a family’s taxable income when taxes are filed. Learn more about this program, including the tax deduction value, student eligibility and regulations on this page.

Georgia Bill Could Make Educational Choice Available to All

Friday, Georgia’s Senate Education and Youth Committee will hear the Individual Student Education Act. The bill, if passed as currently worded, would create a completely universal education savings account (ESA) program. School choice is heating up faster than Hotlanta on a sunny day in July during a dry spell! Georgia would be expanding its educational […]

The Monthly Debrief Podcast with the EdChoice State Team – July to August 2018

In this week’s EdChoice Chat, EdChoice’s Director of State Relations Lauren Hodge, Director of Policy Jason Bedrick and Senior Director of State Relations Michael Chartier come together for another Monthly Debrief. In this episode, they discuss the latest school choice happenings in the states and Puerto Rico in July and look forward to what’s still […]

Bonita Beach Legislator Training Resources

Reimbursement and Survey Forms If you haven’t had a chance, please download and complete these forms. Email them to keri@edchoice.org. Post-Conference Evaluation Form DOWNLOAD HERE Reimbursement Form DOWNLOAD HERE Presentations from the Summit Education in America by Robert Enlow, EdChoice DOWNLOAD HERE How They Work: Vouchers, Tax Credits and ESAs (Panel) ABCs of School Choice, […]

Lake Tahoe Legislator Training Resources

Reimbursement and Survey Forms If you haven’t had a chance, please download and complete these forms. Email them to keri@edchoice.org. Post-Conference Evaluation Form DOWNLOAD HERE Reimbursement Form DOWNLOAD HERE Presentations from the Summit Education in America by Robert Enlow, EdChoice DOWNLOAD HERE How They Work: Vouchers, Tax Credits and ESAs (Panel) ABCs of School Choice, […]

Illinois Governor Signs First Substantial School Choice Program

As part of an overhaul of the state’s school financing system, Illinois created the nation’s 22nd tax-credit scholarship program and the first in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois, which previously had a private school tuition deduction as its only form of K–12 educational choice, narrowly advanced Senate Bill 1947 through its House Monday. The massive […]

Why the Fuss Over School Choice and “Certified” Teachers is Overrated

Opponents of educational choice worry that empowering parents and students to attend private schools will lead to a Wild West of schools wrought with teachers who lack “certification,” a puzzling position to take considering public schools are increasing their employment of “uncertified” teachers. Take Oklahoma as one example. With the passage of Senate Bill 498 […]

North Carolina – Personal Education Savings Accounts

North Carolina’s Personal Education Savings Account program was enacted in 2017 and began providing funding to students in the 2018–19 school year. This educational choice program, the state’s third, serves some students with special needs and can be used in conjunction with the state’s two voucher programs. The sixth education savings account (ESA) program in […]

Missouri Bill Competes with Arkansas to Create Nation’s First Tax Credit-Funded ESAs

Yes, Missouri is on its way to its first educational choice program! In the coming weeks, Missouri legislators will be discussing a bill that could create the nation’s first tax credit-funded education savings accounts (ESAs). Arkansas is the only other state considering a tax credit-funded ESA so far this session. This bill, if passed as […]

New Hampshire bill could create education savings accounts for nearly all K–12 students

A few weeks ago, New Hampshire legislators introduced Education Freedom Savings Accounts in the Senate. The bill, if passed, would set up an education savings account (ESA) program that is open to all public and homeschooled K–12 students in The Granite State. That’s a vast upgrade from New Hampshire’s income-based tax-credit scholarship program, and the […]

America's School Choice Programs Ranked by Participation, 2017 Edition

Which of America’s school choice programs has the most participants? Which has the least? The latest edition of The ABCs of School Choice gives the most up-to-date information we have on program participation. Here, we’ve ranked the programs by how many participants they have, based on the most recent data available for each program at the […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States April 2016

LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION Georgia – Brittany Corona @BrittanyLCorona HB 243 was recommitted to be heard in the Georgia House Ways and Means on April 2. The bill would create a nearly universal education savings account (ESA) program for any student in the Peach state who was enrolled in public school the preceding school year. You […]

Everything You Need to Know About South Dakota's New School Choice Bill

Update 3/29/16: Today, Gov. Daugaard signed the Partners in Education Tax Credit Program into law. The program will begin providing scholarships in the 2016–17 school year. Please visit our full program page for the most up-to-date program information, including an eligibility test, fast facts, and more. South Dakota is on the verge of becoming the nation’s 29th […]

What You Need to Know About "The ABCs of School Choice" 2016 Edition

Since the launch of the nation’s first modern school choice program in 1990, nationwide participation in school choice has grown leaps and bounds—by 115,301 percent! Today, there are 59 school choice programs in 28 states and Washington, D.C., each with its own design, history, and statistics. To help make differentiating and learning from individual programs […]

South Carolina – Refundable Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children

The South Carolina Refundable Educational Credit for Exceptional Needs Children is a refundable tax credit program passed and launched in 2015, and it was codified into law in 2018. Different from traditional tax credit programs, refundable tax credits have greater utility for parents of more modest incomes. Learn more about the program, including eligibility, funding, […]

Friday Freakout: High-Stakes Tests Leading to Chinese Education Model

Our topic of focus today comes to us from the comments section of an Indianapolis Star article called, “Diane Ravitch’s opposition to accountability isn’t realistic.” Check out this impassioned public school teacher’s take: School choice opponents often say, as Diane Ravitch has, that choice proponents are just “corporate reformers” who aim to push high-stakes tests on […]

A School Choice Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving is upon us, and last year, we highlighted a few families who are thankful for the educational opportunities school choice has afforded their children. This year, we’d like to highlight a couple schools of choice that are thankful to serve children using the country’s largest school voucher program, Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program. Horizon School […]

Friday Freakout: What Teachers' Unions Aren't Telling Their Supporters

In “Teachers Unions Flunked Their Midterms,” The Wall Street Journal chronicled how education reform issues played out in this year’s midterm elections. Today’s freakout comes from that story’s comments, where many parents shared their educational experiences and opinions. Janet Ashley, whose other comments show she supports teachers’ union positions, asked the second question education reformers […]

BRIEF: School Choice in the States April 2015

Arkansas – Brittany Corona @BrittanyLCorona On April 8, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Arkansas’ first school choice program into law, making it the 25th state (plus Washington D.C.) to enact a private school choice program. The signature of HB 1552 created the Succeed Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities, which allows students who have attended public school […]

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