The union-backed Partnership for the Future of Learning has launched an anti-choice campaign charging that "voucher programs" are "deeply rooted in segregation, racism and discrimination," reports the Daily Caller. One of the partnership's partners is the National Education Association.
Charter students typically are students of color from lower-income families. In 2021-22, 36.1 percent were Hispanic and 24.4 percent were black. As traditional public schools lose enrollment, charters are growing. Most of the gains come from Hispanic and black students.
More than 64 percent of Black and Hispanic parents said they considered a new school for their child this year, higher than the overall 54 percent rate, according to the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.
The anti-choice campaign charges that “private school voucher programs use public funds to pay for private education,” “allow discrimination by private education providers based on characteristics such as disability status, religion, and sexual orientation and gender identity,” increase “racial isolation” and lead to “worse educational outcomes for students.”
Black and Hispanic students learn more in reading and math in charter schools than similar students in traditional public schools, concludes a recent Stanford study by Stanford's CREDO.
Arizona and West Virginia had already made virtually all children eligible for choice programs, and in 2023 Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Utah joined the club. Another eight states passed new laws establishing forms of choice for the first time or significantly (even if not universally) expanding availability of choice.
“We’ve had the biggest wins the school choice movement has ever witnessed,” American Federation for Children senior fellow Corey DeAngelis said. "The GOP has emerged as the Parents Party, with leaders engaging in friendly competition to empower all families with education freedom.”
Education savings accounts, which let parents spend public money for their child's learning needs, are the big story. Ten states have ESAs and more will launch this year. Some parents use ESAs to pay for private-school tuition, while others use the money to fund classes and enrichment activities for homeschooled children.