Our future depends on the education of our children from kindergarten through high school and, for those students who desire it, the completion of college or vocational education.
Yet many parents feel trapped by under-performing schools and without any ability to save for college and/or vocational training.
The State of California currently spends about $17,000 per pupil on K–12 public education, including federal, state, and local funds and over $97 billion to educate about 6,000,000 children in public schools. The State provides most of the money for schools pursuant to the minimum funding guarantee in the California Constitution (Proposition 98), about $12,000 per pupil per year.
Some public schools are excellent, and some are simply terrible. Overall pupil performance, measured in any number of ways, shows decline, not improvement. Yet per-pupil spending by the state has increased by more than $5000 in the last decade. This fact proves that just more money is not the answer to our education problem.
There are many nonprofit private schools and public charter schools that provide quality education to our children, usually at much lower cost per pupil than the state.
Parents, not the government, should have the right to choose what educational opportunities are best for their children and to set aside any savings derived from that choice for their children’s college or vocational education.
For parents to have choice in their child’s education, there must be a variety of educational options within their community – including but not limited to public, charter, private, parochial schools, and homeschooling.
When schools compete with one another for student enrollment and education dollars, the quality of education will improve, and innovation will take place.
What will passing School Choice legislation in California do?
Create an Education Savings Account for each school age child in every district across the state, upon the request of that child’s parents.
Fund the Education Savings Account with the amount the state designates each year per pupil for K-12 public education, currently about $12,000 at no additional cost to taxpayers.
Empower parents to use the funds in the Education Savings Account to enroll, pay tuition and/or other eligible education expenses for each child in any eligible school of their choice.
Allow any unused funds in the Education Savings Account at the end of the school year to be rolled over tax-free for future school years, and upon graduation from high school, allow any savings in the child’s account to be used for college and/or vocational education expenses.
May 29, 2020
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