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Policy Library

School Choice

America is a nation blessed with the freedom to choose.

And we have a free market that produces an endless number of ideas, products and services.

Consumers pick the winners and losers.

This competition leads to constant innovation, improvement and efficiency.

The only given is that standing still guarantees eventual failure.

And yet that is what we let happen to our public education system. We let it stand still, free from the competition that drives success in every other American enterprise.

School districts operated monopoly franchises in which students were assigned to specific schools based on attendance boundaries. The influence of large bureaucracies and public employee unions stifled innovation and encouraged the status quo.

Families were required to attend the schools assigned to them and this guaranteed customer base ensured the worst schools stayed open for business.

Affluent parents could opt out by paying private school tuition.

Low-income parents could not afford private school tuition therefore there was no incentive for their schools to improve. And so the children who were the furthest behind have no way out and are trapped in the worst schools.

This is why school choice is a critical element of school reform.

We need to redefine what it means to fund education. Rather than funding school districts we need to fund the best education options for each child.

These options include charter schools, scholarships for low-income and disabled students, virtual schools and education savings accounts.

To learn more, please refer to the links below.

Research & Resources

Read “Florida Charter School Growth and Performance” to learn how Florida charter schools compare on state and federal academic performance data.

Florida Charter School Growth and Performance