Why rural students need school choice

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As a former public school teacher, Kat S. deeply values education. She was glad her local public school had a good reputation for quality. But even though her son made honor roll consistently, Kat suspected something was wrong. She never saw him writing, and she felt he wasn’t getting the help he needed at school for his ADHD.

When her son’s school closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, she learned just how bad things were. Assessments showed that her “honor roll student” was three years below grade level in math and could barely write more than a few sentences. 

Fortunately, Kat’s family lives in Arizona, where they had access to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Kat calls them “a godsend.” With an ESA, families can access state funds to pay for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, online courses, special needs therapy, and numerous other educational expenses.

Classroom with empty wooden desks. (iStock)

In 2011, Arizona became the first state to adopt an ESA policy. Just over a decade later, nine states have ESAs and several others – including Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas – may soon follow suit.

WE’RE NOT THE FLORIDA THEY PUT ON

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