Meanwhile, states continued expanding parental school choice options this past year with 13 states either creating or expanding their tuition tax credit programs, private school scholarships, or school choice vouchers. To wit, in 2013:
- Across the United States, 48 school choice programs are now available. These include: 22 voucher programs, 16 tax credit scholarship programs, 1 education savings account program and 8 individual tax credit programs.
- 260k students used vouchers and tax credit scholarships.
- Enrollment in public charter schools increased 250k+ between 2012 and 2013. That's now 5% of public school enrollment nationwide.
Several states continued laying the groundwork for parental school choice:
- Mississippi reformed its charter school law, creating a Charter School Authorizer Board. It possesses the authority to approve up to 15 new charters annually. Prior to the reform, only the State Board of Education was allowed to authorize charter schools, and those schools could only be authorized if a public school was "chronically underperforming" for the prior 3 years.
- Alabama created a tax credit system for families whose children must attend chronically failing public schools. The families receive an income tax credit worth 80% of the average annual public education cost in Alabama. Taxpayers donating to non-profit scholarship organizations also receive tax credits worth 50% of their donation.
- North Carolina expanded its tax credit progrm for students with disabilities. The state also created a new voucher program that will give eligible children $4.2k/year to attend a private school.
Arizona is the only state that has adopted an education savings account program. Today, 302 students in Arizona are using these accounts.
One would think political liberals would be happy to see "pro choice" in all aspects of life, including education. But, they're not. Public charter school faculty aren't unionized. That's a mortal sin. And, that's to say nothing about the "common core." Where's the choice in that?
Let the discussion begin...
To examine the data in the Reason Foundation's report, click on the following link:
"School Choice, Funding Portability, and Trends In Educational Privatization."