Red States Drop the Ball on School Choice. Here’s Why That Needs to Change.

As I’ve noted often over the years, the school reform movement is pathetic — evidently even in “red” states. Here is Jarrett Stepman writing at The Daily Signal:

Fixing our country’s system of education needs to be a priority, especially for those who have an opportunity to do something about it.

In a speech Monday proclaiming National School Choice Week, President Donald Trump said, “By giving parents more control over their children’s education, we are making strides toward a future of unprecedented educational attainment and freedom of choice.”

The school choice movement was launched when economist Milton Friedman proposed school vouchers in 1955. It has grown in scope and sophistication in the years that followed.

States around the country have enacted innovative programs, and the diversity of options beyond the traditional public school has certainly grown.

However, as impressive as these policy victories have been, reform has moved at far too slow a pace in places where political forces should be aligned to score wide-ranging victories.

It is understandable that school choice has met resistance from ideological opponents and teachers unions that desperately want to maintain the public school monopoly regardless of education results.

What’s disappointing is the lack of urgency to act in states that should be politically favorable to a change.

Though some Democrats certainly have come out in favor of school choice, Republicans generally have been more supportive, at least rhetorically.

This is why it is a disappointment that a huge number of deeply red states passed only minimal school choice programs in recent years, despite dominance at state and local levels of government.

Many of these red states have no programs at all.

Though Texas is known for its Republican leanings and is a frequent example of a good model for red states, it has failed so far on the issue of school choice. In fact, Texas doesn’t have a single private school choice option for parents.

Read more: The Daily Signal

Image credit: Eddie Moore/ZUMA Press/Newscom.