School Choice What Do Critics And Supporters Have To Say

School choice is a word for pre-college public education options that refers to various programs that provide children and their families with voluntary alternatives to publicly sponsored schools, which are often assigned to students based on their family’s residence. 

Scholarship tax credit programs are the most common in the United States, both in terms of the number of programs and participating students. These programs allow individuals or corporations to receive tax credits that provide school scholarships. The state may also provide a similar subsidy through a school voucher scheme. 

In short, school choice allows students to receive public funds to let them join schools that best meet their requirements— whether public, private, charter, home, or any other learning environment chosen by families. There are multiple different kinds of school choices used in the US today, with the three primary options mentioned below.  

Education Savings Accounts

ESAs let parents take their kids out of public schools and get money from the government to put into government-approved savings accounts that can only be used for a limited number of things. 

Tax-Credit Education Savings Accounts

Tax-credit ESAs allow people to get full or partial tax credits if they donate to non-profit groups that fund and manage parent-directed K-12 education savings accounts that parents set up. Families can utilize the funds to pay for private school tuition fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, and more.  

School Vouchers

Using vouchers, parents can choose a private school for their children, using some or all the state’s funds for their children’s education. This gives parents more freedom. The funds are allocated to a participating family in a voucher that they can use to pay partial or entire tuition for their kid’s private school. 

So, what do critics and supporters have to say about school choice? Let’s have a look:  

School Choice Supporters

Here’s what the supporters think about school choice: 

  • School choice has shown an increase in parental involvement and satisfaction in their children’s education. Parents who participate in school choice reported high
    satisfaction levels with their children’s chosen schools.  
  • School choice allows students an education tailored to their needs and requirements. Tools like education savings accounts give parents the ability to tailor their children’s education to their specific needs. For example, they can use funds to enter their special needs child in extra learning courses. Traditional
    “one-size-fits-all” education simply cannot provide this level of customization.   
  • School choice increases choices for low-income families. There is no longer a link between where a child lives and the school he or she can go to. This means that the value and location of the family’s home no longer affect their child’s education

School Choice Critics

Here’s what the critics think about school choice:  

  • It can be used as a money-making tool. Almost $600 billion worth of funding is spent on education annually. That’s a big pot of public money that many corporations and businesses would like to get. America is no stranger to lobbies using public funds to get themselves rich, and this fund can also be used to profiteer – All in the name of making it easier for people to choose the best school for their child. 
  • There isn’t much choice. Even though there seem to be a lot of schools to choose from, most of them offer the same kind of education at the elementary level. Failure to teach children anything substantive, beginning in the early grades, ends up preferring students who can acquire more knowledge outside of school. 
  • Providing choices to parents doesn’t always mean the parents will have their children’s interests in mind when choosing a school. Many parents have allegiances and loyalties to schools even when they are struggling, and some are not willing enough to put their child’s interests ahead of their own.