Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Education Accounts Give Parents Control

This spring, Education Savings Accounts will be up for a vote in several states. If parents opt out of the public school system, ESAs give parents most of the money the district would have spent on their child’s education so they can spend the money on other educational expenses. ESAs already exist in Arizona and Florida, and parents there have used the money to cover the costs of homeschooling, tutors, private school tuition, or online courses. ESAs have been popular with private school and homeschool parents, and with parents of disabled children who need more services and attention than they usually get in public schools, because they can spend the money on therapy. Administrators oversee the fund to ensure that parents really do spend the money on reasonable education expenses.

The push for these programs is partly a reaction to the much-hated, disastrous Common Core standards. Local control has been cited as the solution to Common Core, and parental control is the ultimate in local control. Of course, like traditional voucher systems, there have been complaints that taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize whatever parents want. But Education Savings Accounts don’t subsidize “whatever”—the systems in Arizona and Florida have careful oversight. And of course, we’ve had the old complaints that taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize teaching that might include religion. But taxpayers already have to subsidize the anti-religion that is often pushed in the public schools.

Why shouldn’t parents be able to use the tax dollars intended to educate their kid, to actually educate their kid? And why should school districts get to keep funds for students who aren’t attending their classes? Parents have a right to control their children’s education, and parental control is the best method we have to ensure children get a good education. States that pass Education Savings Accounts will be taking a giant step forward for children to get a good education.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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