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‘School Choice’ & Homeschool Families Must Fight Together

March 9, 2023

President Reagan once famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Indeed, those of us on the right are rightly skeptical of government schemes to inject its tentacles into private life, and some have raised good-faith questions about the risks of bringing “public funding” (and the strings attached to it) into private education.

But Reagan himself knew that empowering parents reduced the threat of government influence over our nation’s children, and he proposed in 1985 to allow parents to redirect up to $600 of what taxpayers would have otherwise spent via existing programs on a child in a public school and instead use it for that child’s private education. Just like today, Reagan’s faith in school choice programs horrified—and terrified—those on the left who believe our children should be molded chiefly by the state, not parents.

For years since, a small portion of American families have been able to direct their own children’s education through values-based private school or by directly homeschooling their own kids. Some have done so with help from the current patchwork of school choice programs, and others by fully bearing the financial burden themselves. But now, states across the country stand poised to break down the financial barriers holding back millions of families from doing likewise, while also obliterating the current penalty levied against private and home-educating families who not only dutifully pay taxes to support other children, but then also bear the full financial burden again to provide for their own.

Read the rest of the op-ed in Townhall.

Matt Beienburg is the Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute. He also serves as director of the institute’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy.



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