Culture, Economy & Business, Politics

Parents Are Taking Back Their Children’s Education

According to data released by Education Week, America’s government-run schools lost almost 1.3 million students this year. (Delaware, Illinois, and North Carolina didn’t supply enrollment statistics, so the true number is probably somewhat higher.) The downtick was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its overwrought response, including draconian lockdowns and subsequent forced digital learning—mostly occurring in school districts with strong teachers unions.

While undoubtedly some of the “missing” kids will return when schools open their doors in August and September, to be sure many will not. And for those who don’t, increasing numbers will have more choices than ever.

As EdChoice Director of Policy Jason Bedrick notes, 14 states have enacted 18 new or expanded educational choice policies so far this year. Additionally, it’s expected that six additional states will usher in new or expanded choice programs. On a national level, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced the Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere Act, which would “modernize how, and to whom, we distribute our K-12 resources.” Lee explains that his bill “would allow low-income families with children in grades K-12 to apply for federal education funds that they can choose to put toward the public schools in which their children are enrolled or toward an education savings account, known as a 529 account.” (Education savings accounts [ESAs] allow parents to pull their children from a public school and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses.)

Additionally, homeschooling has been booming. The Census Bureau reports that between 2012 and 2020, the number of homeschooling families remained steady at around 3.3 percent. But by May 2020, about 5.4 percent of U.S. households with school-aged children reported they were homeschooling. And by October 2020, the number jumped to 11.1 percent. Read more…

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