School choice continues to blossom

School choice continues to blossom

School choice continues to blossom

If parents continue to demand more options in their kids' education, an advocate of empowering families predicts most states will eventually be funding students rather than systems.

Walter Blanks, Jr. of the American Federation for Children (AFC) says the school choice movement has gained a lot of traction over the past three years. Just this year alone, Utah, Arkansas, and Iowa have passed universal school choice programs.

"We're watching a lot of other states closely, including Florida, Nebraska, Georgia, and Ohio," he tells AFN.

Blanks, Walter (AFC) Blanks

In Ohio's case, opponents of the school voucher program, known as the "Backpack Bill" for its plan of flexibility in which public dollars follow the students and parents if they choose private school or homeschooling, claim it could cost the state over $1.13 billion and decimate public schools.

Mission America President Linda Harvey says that is just a scare tactic, but she also notes that those naysayers are not the only ones who have expressed reservations.

"Homeschooling families have been concerned that this would end up with many more regulations," Harvey relays. "I don't think that's going to end up being the situation; I think that those concerns will be addressed in amendments."

With a GOP supermajority in the legislature and a Republican governor, she is confident the legislation will be approved.

Harvey, Linda (Mission: America) Harvey

"Some of the Republicans are RINOS, and they tend to listen to the teachers' unions, but what Republicans need to do is to act like Republicans and put families first, education first," Harvey suggests.

If it passes, then all public, nonpublic, and homeschool students in grades K-12 will be eligible for a state scholarship.

Blanks says the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing school closures acted as an afterburner for parents in demanding more education options for their children.

"We had over one million students across the country leave the public education system over the past two years, and so that really speaks to parents wanting something different for their child," the AFC spokesman submits. "School choice has really, really blossomed."

Meanwhile, Liberty Nation News points out that leftists are "none too happy" about the changes. They claim school choice is racist, and outspoken parents at school board meetings have been accused of being "domestic terrorists."