School Choice Growing in U.S.

School choice is the only program that can have a significant impact in reducing the power of the mainstream public school system, and school choice is growing. The following is excerpted from Scott Jensen, American Federation for Children, June 28, 2022: “At the American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, we only count programs that 1) give parents enough assistance to actually make a different choice; and 2) provide parents with a variety of private school options including religious schools. These states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, you have the District of Columbia and Douglas County, Colorado. Illinois’ $500 tax credit is too small to affect a parent’s decisions. And Minnesota’s $1,000 tax credit does not cover tuitionjust other educational expenses. The Vermont and Maine programs do not allow students to attend a religious school, and therefore, do not truly empower parents with full educational options.”

CONCLUDING NOTE: Many of these states limit their school choice programs to select students, such as special needs and military, but there is an ever-increasing push to expand them. In October, West Virginia’s Supreme Court reversed a circuit court injunction on the Hope Scholarship Program which provides public funds to students “leaving the public school system for either charter, private, religious, or home-schooling” (Fox News, Oct. 7, 2022). Currently eight states have an Education Savings Account (ESA) program. These are Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Education Savings Accounts “allow parents to withdraw their children from public district or charter schools and receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts with restricted, but multiple, uses. Those funds—which families generally access via an online platform—can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and other approved customized learning services and materials” (“ESAs,”

(Friday Church News Notes, November 25, 2022,, 866-295-4143)