1 Million Kids and Counting

School Choice Milestone Achieved as 1 Million Students Using Private School Choice Program

When Milton and Rose Friedman founded EdChoice, formerly The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, in 1996, they had a clear vision: That every family would have the ability to choose a personalized education for their children.

Today, they would be proud to learn that this vision is becoming a reality. Over 1 million children now participating in private school choice programs across the United States.

Whether choice comes through enrolling in an education savings account program, using a voucher, participating in a tax-credit ESA program, or utilizing a tax-credit scholarship or refundable tax credit, 1 million children are learning in a more positive educational environment this year! Many families are now able, for the first time, to build a customized education for their children—one that reflects their values and plays to their students’ unique talents and interests.

Families like the Ebbas, who are using New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Account program to provide a hybrid learning environment, including home and co-op education, for their three children. Thanks to the ESA program, the oldest Ebba children are preparing for future careers in medicine and the trades.

“With this new program called Educational Freedom Accounts, we were able to tremendously expand educational options for our children,” mom Megan Ebba said.

Or consider families like the Burkehardts, who are using Indiana’s special needs ESA program to help their children who have dyslexia learn and even love to read.

Before accessing this program, the Burkehardts struggled to find appropriate resources and support within their local public school system. Now, with specialized instruction tailored to their needs, their children are making significant progress and gaining confidence in their abilities.

“The impact on our family has been amazing. And this will not fail. This is focusing in on your child’s strengths. It’s individualized solely to them, and you get to pick and choose because you know your child best. And that is what is going to make your child successful in the long run,” mom Corey Burkehardt said.

These success stories are not isolated incidents but part of a growing trend of families experiencing the benefits of school choice.

This year, Wyoming joined the school choice map, and Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana created new ESA programs. Additionally, Missouri, Indiana, Utah, and Nebraska expanded their existing programs, increasing accessibility and flexibility for more families. Notably, the Alabama and Louisiana programs will eventually be available to all students, bringing the total number of states with universally eligible programs to 12.

With these advancements, over 22 million students—or 40% of students nationwide—are now eligible to participate in a private school choice program. Currently, there are 75 programs across 33 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

As we celebrate this milestone, we set our sights on reaching 2 million children, reaffirming that educational choice is not a fleeting trend but a foundational element of the future of education in America. As we continue working to realize the Friedmans’ vision of universal choice, EdChoice remains steadfast in its mission to inform families about their educational rights and options by providing resources, conducting research, and advocating for policy changes.

EdChoice will make sure that programs are available to all, financially supported, and run well. In states that have enacted programs, we are working to ensure that families have true, unencumbered flexibility in using the funding. Educational choice is here to stay, shaping the minds of future generations and fulfilling Milton Friedman’s dream that every family would have the ability to choose a personalized education for their children.