Back in the USA
We returned from Barcelona last night, so I'm a bit jet-lagged -- and where was my breakfast buffet this morning? -- but the blog is back.
While I was touring the Roman ruins in Tarragona, walking the medieval walls of Girona and eating calamari at the harbor of Calella de Palafrugell, Florida passed a law offering school vouchers and education savings accounts to all families. The Sunshine State is now the nation's largest school choice laboratory, writes Kevin Mahnken on The 74.
Florida retakes the school choice crown from West Virginia and Arizona, write Corey DeAngelis and Nathan Cunneen in a Fox commentary. Iowa, Utah, and Arkansas also have enacted universal school choice legislation. Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas could be next. They predict red high-choice states will have a competitive advantage over blue no-choice states.
In the short run, there won't be a mass exodus of public school students because private schools don't have that many empty seats and expanding school options takes time. But not that much time.
I also wonder how choice will change debates over issues such as sex ed in elementary school, school library books on gender identity and race and whether "social emotional learning" includes name-your-privileges worksheets. Traditional public schools are losing enrollment in many places already: Ignoring parents' values is a high-cost strategy -- and it's a lot costlier if everyone can afford the school of their choice. But no school can make everyone happy.