By Miranda Bonifield
What do 29 states and nations from Australia to the Netherlands have in common? School choice. In Belgium, school choice is enshrined as a constitutional right. Pakistan utilizes a voucher program. The result is higher-quality education for kids of all backgrounds. It’s time for Oregon to recognize these benefits and embrace school choice.
Not only are participants in school choice programs more likely to graduate and enroll in college, but 31 of 33 available studies have demonstrated that the resulting interschool competition positively impacts public schools.
It’s the best policy for low-income communities: As the Brookings Institute’s John White noted in 2016, school choice gives low-income kids the chance to take advantage of options like private schools or tutoring that otherwise would be out of reach.
School choice doesn’t favor any one religion or group, since well-structured programs like Education Savings Accounts allow parents themselves to choose the educational resources that meet their own children’s needs. And as a cherry on top, all but three of the 40 available fiscal analyses found that school choice resulted in savings of taxpayer dollars.
However you spin it, the smart choice is school choice.
Miranda Bonifield is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.