In 2011, more than 200,000 children in 18 states and the District of Columbia are benefitting from private school choice options.

In a new report published by The Heritage Foundation, Lindsey Burke and Rachel Sheffield report than in these 19 jurisdictions,

  • Nine states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—offer education tax credits to encourage businesses and individuals to make donations to organizations that provide tuition scholarships to students to attend private school.
  • Nine states and the District of Columbia have voucher programs: Colorado (Douglas County), Florida (special needs), Georgia (special needs), Indiana, Louisiana (New Orleans and special needs), Ohio (Cleveland, Ed Choice, special needs, and Autism scholarships), Oklahoma (special needs), Utah (special needs), Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Racine County), and Washington, D.C.
  • Five states—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, and Minnesota—offer tax deductions to reduce their state income-tax liabilities by taking deductions on education-related expenses, including private-school tuition.

Millions more students are benefiting from virtual education options, charter schools, public school choice and homeschooling.

Although these options are growing, there are still millions of other children across the country who are trapped in failing government schools that do not provide quality education.

In their report, Burke and Sheffield point out the value of giving parents choices in their children’s education:

School choice evaluations have shown increases in academic achievement, graduation rates, parental satisfaction, and student safety. School choice also places competitive pressure on public schools to improve.

To read more about their findings, you can read the full report here.

It is up to our leaders to put in place policies that put the power in the hands of parents and education opportunity in the grasp of children.

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