Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013: The Year of Education Choice?

While more students than ever have access to educational options this year—and you can get the full slate of numbers when our annual School Choice Yearbook is released next week—thousands more are still unable to attend the school of their choice. 

Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, recently wrote an op-ed for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, calling on lawmakers across the country to expand or grant access to choice programs being considered in their state.

Some of the programs highlighted by in the op-ed include:
  • Georgia:  Lawmakers will consider expanding the state’s scholarship tax credit program. 
  • Tennessee:  Governor Bill Haslam will include a school voucher program in his legislative package.
  • Texas: The Texas legislature is considering a scholarship tax credit program for individuals and families.
  • Mississippi: Governor Phil Bryant proposed a private school choice program for students in underperforming public schools, just a year after the state was home to the creation of a brand-new special needs voucher program for students with dyslexia.
  • North Carolina: Legislators are reviewing proposals that could create a robust scholarship tax credit program in the state, a year after lawmakers lifted the cap on charter schools and created an individual tuition tax credit for children with disabilities.
  • Indiana: Governor Mike Pence has proposed expanding the state’s voucher program to increase scholarship amounts and student eligibility.
  • Maine: Governor Paul LePage has proposed establishing a school voucher program in the state.
Throwing his support behind the proposed Tennessee voucher program, Harry Barber, a professor and former candidate for TN General Assembly, said in a letter to the Commercial Appeal that a voucher program would increase competition and ultimately results in education.

“A system of vouchers makes principals and teachers compete for our children,” Barber said.  “If put into law and allowed to be implemented to its fullest, a school voucher program can fundamentally improve education.”

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, KMS

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