The School Choice Movement: Is It The Right Policy For The U.S.

As of 2005, Florida, Maine, Vermont, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia allowed students to receive scholarships which were government funded for the attendance of private schools. Other states such as Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania have tax credit programs that allow the education expenses to be deducted and have other deductions in scholarship programs so parents can send their children to their school of choice (Heritage Foundation, 2005).

The public school choice movement or voucher programs were created to bring about a competitive education industry. The present population of U.S. private schools does not present itself to be apart of the industry in which the vouchers were originally intended. The voucher system is a free market system. This system allows the families with school age children to have easy access in either public or private schools. This allows the schools to operate without strict regulations on who they can hire, what they can teach, and what they can charge for the education that they provide. The families, with vouchers, are partially responsible for the costs and the state or federal funding can not be discriminated toward one school or another (Coulson, 2006).

The school voucher or public school choice movement may be on shaky grounds in some states, but the idea of freedom from regulation and state mandated education is refreshing in a time when over regulation seems to be the watchword of both federal and state directions toward education. Their has to be a choice for parents who have religious differences or want their children to go in more academic directions than those dictated by government. Choice in all aspects of society gives the citizen more control over their own lives and their children’s education even though it may be contradictory of what society and the government deem as just and necessary.

Coulson, A. (2006). The school choice movements greatest failure. Education and Child Policy. Cato Institute Online. Retrieved on July 25, 2009 from http://www.cato-at-liberty.org

Heritage Foundation, n.a. (2005). School choice movement continues to grow, report says. Press release retrieved on July 25, 2009 from http://www.heritage.org

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