CRI Focus Areas

Give us more choice!


The most recently available data on Delaware public schools speaks for itself: parents want more choice.   Over the past eight years total enrollment in Delaware’s public schools is up 9% while enrollment in Delaware’s charter schools is up 228%. The fastest growth in charter school enrollment is among African-Americans and today 58% of the state’s charter school students are nonwhite. The Delaware State Education Association, the teachers union, favors more regulations to slow the growth of charter schools in the state.   Pennsylvania’s senate just approved a sweeping expansion of school choice with bipartisan support.The legislation significantly expands educational options to low-income children and kids in failing schools, creating a new voucher program and increasing funding for the state’s existing scholarship tax credit program.The legislation would make Pennsylvania the 11th state to enact or expand a private school choice program this year. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, the teachers union, opposes the bill.   In a recent poll, Alaska voters favored school vouchers two to one (64% to 29%), with the strongest support shown among Alaska Natives and Asian Americans. A majority of Alaska voters support changing the state’s constitution to permit vouchers. The National Education Association – Alaska, the teachers union, oppose the parental choice scholarship program.   The National Education Association opposes vouchers and is skeptical about charter schools.   Parents, especially of disadvantaged children, are voting with their enrollment and appear to disregard the reduced choice position taken by teachers unions. In the long run, it is likely that the parents will prevail.   Dr. John E. Stapleford, Director Center for Economic Policy and Research


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