[Content was a featured post on ACSTO’s ‘News & Updates’ blog on 11/18/12.
Click for blog link here.]
School choice is loaded with layers of meaning. It reaches far and wide into all forms of American education. It refers to evaluation of educational systems. It calls for legislative policy reforms. It asks that parents be more involved in the process of their child’s education and which type of schooling they will receive. It demands the freedom of the free market enterprise to govern supply and demand in the education sector, instead of government regulation.
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice summarizes school choice concisely, calling school choice “a common sense idea…encouraging healthy competition among schools and other institutions to better serve students’ needs and priorities [and] a public policy that allows parent/guardian or student to choose a district, charter, or private school, regardless of residence and location.”
School choice is more than just competition among schools however. The second half of school choice is geared to affordability. Public districts may be free, but alternative forms of education are not. Most families cannot afford to pay for public schooling in taxes, and pay again in private school tuition. For this reason, school choice is synonymous with school vouchers, tax credit scholarships, education savings accounts, and individual tax credits and deductions. Without these methods in place to help families afford these educational alternatives, the school choice movement would be hard pressed.
Even though our service is specific to tax credit scholarships for private school students, ACSTO supports all forms of school choice. We don’t pretend to know what is best for children’s education. Our goal is to ensure that parents, when properly informed and given the financial capability, are able to choose whether private schooling is best for their children.
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