union membership decline

Letter to the Editor – Educational Options

Originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer

The fight over educational choice is frustratingly politicized. Both sides duke it out in the public square, while students remain trapped in crumbling public schools. This issue is bigger than me, the pundits, the lobbyists, and the self-proclaimed “voucher experts” inserting themselves into this debate. If lawmakers ignore the loudest voices in the room for a moment and listen closely, they can hear the pitter-patter of students and families voting with their feet.

Kids have been leaving public schools and searching for better opportunities outside the system for a while now. It accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic when public schools nationwide lost more than one million students. They are choosing charter schools, private schools, micro-schools, and homeschooling — all of which have experienced a spike in interest recently. Many disaffected parents turned to private schools that reopened faster and offered in-person instruction. Moreover, private school students fared much better academically during this time.

Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer