BRIEF: School Choice in the States November 2014

Delaware – Doran Moreland @Dmoreland9

Delaware is gaining momentum around the expansion educational options for kids. Recently, an agreement was reached between the Delaware teachers’ union and school choice proponents. The agreement allows all families to access public charter schools in Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city.

Additionally, a Friedman Foundation survey indicates a 69 percent approval for school choice initiatives among Delawareans. As a result of the study, the Friedman Foundation is providing data and best practice information in upcoming months for Delaware’s education and policy leaders as local families call for more school choice options.

Kentucky – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn

The Friedman Foundation testified at a hearing for the state’s Joint Committee on Education, November 10. The Foundation offered a team of experts on education savings accounts, economic impact, funding, and academic and cultural effects of school choice for testimony:

  • Dr. Ben Scafidi, director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University Cole College of Business;
  • Dr. Patrick Wolf, distinguished professor of education policy and 21st Century endowed chair in school choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas College of Education; and
  • Leslie Hiner, vice president of programs and state relations for the Friedman Foundation

Following the presentations by Wolf, Scafidi, and Hiner, others testified in support of charter schools. The committee received information about a full array of educational options that may work for children in Kentucky. Kentucky and West Virginia are the only two states in their geographic area that have neither private school choice nor public charter options.

Mississippi – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn

The Friedman Foundation welcomed Mississippi state legislators interested in education savings accounts (ESAs) to Phoenix, Arizona where they toured private schools that accept ESA students with special needs. Lawmakers heard from policy experts who discussed ESAs’ impact on state and local communities as well as a family who uses an ESA.

Pennsylvania – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn

Just before the start of the month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed HB91, a bill to make it easier for businesses to distribute donations between the state’s two tax-credit scholarship programs for low-income children.

Tennessee – Stephanie Linn @StephanieJLinn

Tennessee state legislators visited Phoenix, Arizona with the Friedman Foundation to learn more about ESAs. The trip included presentations of research and a tour of private schools that accept students who use ESAs and other school choice scholarships. Tennessee lawmakers also met with parents, school administrators, and policy experts to discuss the impact of scholarships and ESAs.

Utah – Michael Chartier @mchart1

Sen. Brian Greene filed a bill request for an Education Savings Account Pilot Program while in interim committee.