Frequently Searched

If 2011 Was the 'Year of School Choice,' What Does That Make 2012?

October 29, 2014

 

There is still time for Arizona lawmakers to make 2012 an encore performance.

What is most striking about the 2011 reforms enacted around the country is the programs’ inclusive designs. That is, for the past 20 years, programs that allow students to choose a public or private school of choice have been small in scope. When school voucher programs became law, often student eligibility would be limited to children with special needs (such as Florida’s McKay Scholarships) or low-income students in individual cities or districts (like Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

Private school-choice reforms were seen as policy solutions for specific student groups, not a way to change how all students access education.

Yet in 2011, lawmakers in several states (including Indiana and Wisconsin) passed new reforms or expanded existing programs with broad eligibility provisions.

In 2012, there have not been as many bills signed into law (yet), but in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal just signed a reform package that is designed to reach more than just isolated student groups. Lawmakers in the Bayou passed a set of bills that allow parents of students in failing schools to petition to close their school or convert it to a charter (a similar bill passed the Arizona Senate this year) and allow low and middle-income students in schools rated “C” or below access to school vouchers.

Arizona lawmakers still have time to follow suit and expand the state’s unique education savings account program to students in the state’s lowest-performing schools and military families. Offering parents and students choices of education services is no longer a reform for a minority of students.

Around the country, education reform is finally moving from “choices for some” to “choices for all.”

Learn more:

Wall Street Journal: School Vouchers Gain Ground

Wall Street Journal: The Year of School Choice

PR Newswire: Louisiana Governor’s School Voucher Plan Clears Legislature

 

 

More on this issue

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.