Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Corbett has indicated strong support support for school choice, but he won’t be alone in the fight.
Joining him in this push is Governor-elect Rick Scott of Florida, who has come under attack for his proposal of a statewide voucher system. Aggressively pushing for school choice, Scott has taken criticisms from teacher unions, public schools and Florida newspapers.
Critics are claiming vouchers will rob public schools of money and drive up taxes, and that they don’t improve student performance.
As Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Foundation of Educational Excellence, has explained, every study on school choice where random assignment is used has (save one, which showed no difference) shown student gains in achievement with voucher programs, which cost a fraction of public school spending per-pupil.
Private schools, charter schools and cyber schools operate at costs much lower than the average public school. School vouchers will take some students out of public schools, but forcing public schools to compete, along with giving parents more control over their child’s education, creates a system that focuses on student learning.
With most Pennsylvanians supporting school choice and the rest of the nation jumping in on the movement, Governor-elect Corbett should follow Governor-elect Scott’s lead and embrace a large-scale choice program that will cut costs, improve student performance, and give all parents the opportunity to find the best school for their child.