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Arizona is a Bright Beacon of Educational Freedom

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When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2853 into law on July 7, it provided school options for more than 1.1 million K-12 students in the state. Opening the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Account to all students is a dramatic expansion of school choice, the largest in the nation. No other state comes close to it. As a result, Arizona has been called the “gold standard” for educational freedom.

This move is in the best interests of the Arizona family. Parents who choose to participate will receive more than $6,500 per student per year. The funds are very flexible and can be allocated towards private school tuition, micro-school, home-school fees, or other means of education.

With growing parental dissatisfaction with traditional public education, the account provides a loophole from the public schools assigned to families, further fueling the current exodus from government-run schools.

Private school enrollments have reached capacity in the last two years and most have waiting lists, so where are these students going? Opportunity is ripe.

Knowing that consumers spend $6,500 per child per school year gives education entrepreneurs an edge over other entrepreneurs. Working backwards from the $6,500 figure, we are able to create K-12 education products and services to meet the immediate demand of a large market at a price consumers can afford thanks to our Empowerment Scholarship Account. increase. Edupreneurs can offer a range of services, from creating full-service, face-to-face private schools to more innovative and flexible models that offer instruction in non-traditional ways.

To add further impetus to this effort, the Yas Foundation announced the STOP for Arizona Education Awards for state education providers who “embodied the Guiding Principles of Sustainable, Transformative, Excellence, and Unlicensed Education.” announced a $1 million Five Arizona education providers who can articulate how to scale their models to serve significantly more students are eligible for the $100,000 prize, and one exceptional provider is She Wins the $500,000 Ducey Award.

Quality and transparency will continue to grow in the coming years as more education providers emerge and allow parents to use state-issued funds to choose from an array of innovative options for their children’s education. sexuality will be required. To remain competitive, K-12 schools must demonstrate that they can provide high-quality student learning and excellent customer service in a cost-effective manner.

This is a watershed moment for K-12 education in Arizona. When a parent is relishing the new options brought about by educational freedom, you won’t want to go back to the mediocre school of her K-12 public school. Additionally, the power of word of mouth invites those whose children are remaining in traditional public schools this year to consider the move.

The positive effects can be far-reaching. In the new environment of educational freedom, parents will be able to choose schools that align with the values ​​they wish to reinforce in their schools. Schools are accountable to parents as customers for the quality of the education provided and the learning outcomes of particular students.

Additionally, Arizona would benefit greatly economically and socially by breaking the K-12 monopoly. Students graduate from her K-12 education system in Arizona, ready for employment and adulthood, with financial benefits. Families from other states also want to move to Arizona so they can exercise educational options for their children to help combat Arizona’s labor shortage.

Educational choices are also plagued by a far-left political agenda that is waging war on the fundamental identities of children and teens through the promotion of critical racial theory concepts and radical gender ideologies. It offers the potential to disrupt the union-controlled public education system that is still in place. It also allows parents who are financially empowered to enroll their children elsewhere to award disciplinary actions and grades based on desired skin color or ethnic group results rather than individual behavior or merit. I don’t.

However, this is not limited to one state. Arizona is a test case for applying free market principles to K-12 education and will be watched closely by the entire nation. Given the potential statewide change in the next few years, it’s only a matter of time before other states follow Arizona.

• Keri D. Ingraham is a Fellow of the Discovery Institute and Director of the Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education.