This week, Nevada became the fifth state to offer its students education savings accounts. But this program is different. It’s not confined to at-risk children, or children with special needs. There are no limits on eligibility whatsoever, as long as the students who accept the accounts have attended public schools for 100 days.
Nevada’s unprecedented program has upped the ante for parental choice. Almost any public-school parent can receive between $5,000 and $5,700 in state funding to pay for private school tuition, virtual instruction, tutoring services and the like.
But think of the possibilities and implications.
- Schools will face new pressure to compete on price.
- Nevada has a new relief valve for overcrowding in its schools, which is a problem there today but could soon be a problem in other places.
- Since every parent can choose, new, innovative learning options might emerge in places like middle-class suburbs that haven’t historically gotten much attention from education reformers (think tutors that use blended learning to serve more kids, microschools that specialize in single subject areas, and other options we haven’t thought of yet).
Will what happens in Vegas remain in Vegas? Nevada is now the state to watch.
They need not pull the trigger
New reporting out of Los Angeles seems to support what parent empowerment advocates have long claimed: The threat of a “parent trigger” vote is more potent than the school takeovers or charter school conversions it could bring about.
Wisconsin considers expanding charter schools and lowering the barriers to teacher certification.
New York’s proposed education tax credit out-polls other reforms.
Quotes of the week
“I’ll do whatever it takes for my son.” – Brian Williams, a father fighting to preserve Louisiana’s school voucher program.
“I think a healthy public school system has choice, and we’re going to see all kinds of schools pop up to serve the individual needs of students.” – Nevada State Sen. Scott Hammond, the public-school teacher turned charter-school administrator who helped enact Nevada’s new parental choice law.
Readers help keep our system healthy. Get it touch at tpillow[at]sufs[dot]org, or hit up Patrick Gibbons, who helps compile our weekly summary of school choice news.
ICYMI, this week on redefinED: