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Giving Parents the Tools to Educate Their Children

Goldwater Responds to the Coronavirus Crisis

Giving Parents the Tools to Educate Their Children

A recent headline says it all: “Many Schools Are Not Providing Any Instruction Amid Closures.” But there are some parents who are finding a way to ensure their children are educated throughout this crisis. They’re recipients of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), a Goldwater Institute innovation that empowers parents to tailor an education to their children’s unique needs.

With an ESA, a state deposits a portion of a child’s funds from the state education formula in a private account that parents use to buy education products and services for their student. Lawmakers in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee have made accounts available to eligible families. 

The accounts are helping families adjust even as school buildings are closed and families remain indoors for extended stretches of time. Parents and students need to be flexible as the news changes from day to day, and the accounts offer stability as families make decisions about online instruction and care for children with special needs. The Goldwater Institute is working to expand ESAs across the country and is encouraging lawmakers to consider how to make traditional schooling look more like the versatile accounts.

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Ensuring Transparency in Curriculum

With children being kept out of school, districts are struggling to find ways to instruct their pupils while they’re at home. That raises the question: If schools can’t figure out how to provide instructional material to children at home, what are they teaching them when they’re in school?

The Goldwater Institute recently published a report on the importance of establishing an environment of academic transparency in K-12 schools, so parents know what their children are learning in the classroom and can make decisions about their education based on that knowledge. And now we’re advocating for legislation in Arizona—and nationwide—that would bypass outdated state protocols that frequently frustrate parents’ ability to know what’s actually being taught, especially before they have already committed their children to a given school. 

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Seizing this Opportunity to Innovate in Education

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the inflexibility in our public school systems. It’s revealing the importance of empowering parents with tools to ensure their children get the education they deserve. And it’s providing an opportunity to reassess what our children are being taught. The Goldwater Institute is a national leader in providing parents with innovative educational tools that are helping families get through this crisis—and will help children get a better, more custom educational experience long after this crisis is over. We’re expanding our work, helping more families and children, and seizing the opportunity to reform our nation’s education system.

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