Education choice is not the boogeyman of public schools. Nor is it Dracula, wolfman, or any other scary Halloween creature.
Many opponents will say, “Education choice will destroy the public school system.”
To which I say, where and when has this ever happened?
The truth is, it hasn’t.
Florida’s Public Schools and Choice Program are Improving
In Florida, they have over 200,000 students using their education choice programs, and yet, the public schools are still growing and attracting students.
Arizona expanded their choice programs in 2021, and yet, the public schools still exist.
In fact, Arizona’s program is saving money for taxpayers.
But here is one truth: education choice programs force public schools to improve their product.
Innovation is Good for Students AND Teachers
I was a principal during the “COVID-19 year.” The school district I worked for wanted classroom teachers to provide both in-person and online instruction. It was terrible.
Students hated it, parents were frustrated, and teachers were getting burned out.
Over 700 students left the district’s elementary schools for other online programs.
What did the school district do? By the middle of September 2020, they began creating a dedicated online school. This provided a better, more responsive program for students and relieved a huge burden for teachers.
In short, the school district improved how they provided education.
Free Markets Solve Problems
And that is what education choice programs do. They create market pressures that force updates, innovations, and creativity from existing providers. This is what we call a disruption to the education market.
It is the type of innovation that brought us iPhones and Teslas.
No, choice programs are not the boogeyman, but for the students who don’t fit into a typical education, it could be a knight in shining armor coming to save them. Happy Halloween.