The Heritage Foundation's annual Education Freedom Report Card ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia by how much liberty parents and students are given in both school choice and protection from woke ideology.
"Our report card is unique because it is measuring the degree of freedom and autonomy and liberty that parents have, that students have to make choices that are in the best interests of children based on their needs," relays Jonathan Butcher, the foundation's Will Skillman Senior Research Fellow.
Researchers, he says, focus on topics like what lawmakers are doing to protect kids from radical ideas about race and sex in their curriculum and if the state will allow parents to move their kids to different schools if they disagree with what is being taught where they are.
According to the report, K-12 spending has quadrupled since 1960, with no meaningful academic gains. Meanwhile, chief diversity officers are employed in 48% of school districts with 15,000+ students.
"So often we hear today of parents sending their child to a school, and the child is learning some ambiguous idea around gender that teaches something that the parents don't agree with or that is biologically unsupportable," the researcher reports.
While special interest groups are doubling down on their plan to limit parents' influence on their children's educations, Heritage wants to empower parents to choose a safe and effective education for their children.
The top five states for educational liberty are Florida, Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, and Indiana. The bottom five are Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Oregon.
Approximately 770,000 students are currently benefiting from private school choice.