The school choice movement seeks to improve education by allowing parents the right to choose alternatives to public school for their children. Vouchers that enable parents to take their tax money and spend it on educational alternatives are often advocated to achieve this. It was initially championed by economist Milton Friedman and his wife Rose in the late 1960s.
As of 2007, school choice is available only in very limited ways and only to a tiny percentage of the population. Wisconsin and Ohio have had very small programs. Florida has a voucher program and also has an online alternative to brick and mortar public school, known as Florida Virtual School.
In addition to vouchers for private school and homeschooling options, some states offer a choice, for those who choose the public school system, in which public school their children will attend. This is sometimes called open enrollment. School districts in Florida have an open enrollment system although traditional dictatorship still applies to the school bus system, and those who choose to attend a school where buses are unavailable are required to find alternate transportation. In regions where open enrollment does not exist in public schools, a communist style dictatorship determines what school public school students will attend, which can be particularly a problem where homeschooling is prohibited or unfeasible and no good private schools exist or are affordable.
A Washington Times editorial explains:
- School choice is about as popular with teachers’ unions as crosses are at a convention of vampires. Big Labor only cares about maintaining the guarantee of lifetime employment without accountability based on performance. Nothing says “failure” more loudly than a bunch of students packing their book bags to head elsewhere.
Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's intended choice for Secretary of Education, has called the school choice movement an attempt to “empower” parents to find good schools for their children, whether they be traditional public schools in other neighborhoods, charter schools, virtual schools or private institutions.
- "Competition through school choice would improve education." Cal Thomas
- EDITORIAL: Crushing school choice - Administration plays the race card to appease teachers union
- Trump picks Betsy DeVos for education secretary post