Endless Remote Learning has Lawmakers Looking at School Choice
State lawmakers in Kansas are turning to school choice as a way to help correct the growing problems with extended remote learning regimes.
According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, parents would be able to create Education Savings Accounts, or ESAs, for their kids:
ESAs allow families to access the base per-pupil aid normally given to a public school district to support their child. Those funds can be used for private school tuition, as well as textbooks, education-related therapies and tutoring and expenses related to homeschooling.
Not every student would be eligible, but among those included would be:
…those whose districts have required remote or hybrid learning for a prolonged period of time. Students would need to requalify on a year-to-year basis, meaning that once a district transitions back to in-person learning, their pupils would potentially lose their ESAs.
The education establishment is not happy with the idea, because the program could divert substantial numbers of kids – and state dollars – into education options parents think are best.
It’s a debate that’s occurring across the country, particularly in some high-profile areas where teacher’s unions are resisting calls to reopen public schools to in-person instruction – either this year or even in the fall.
The nation’s public school systems were in trouble before the pandemic hit. Now, the virus has exposed the problems to all. The immediate question is when public schools can safely reopen. The longer-term question that’s now unavoidable: what sort of education system will we have for the future?
Image Credit: Michael Dorausch [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]