Private schools are held directly accountable to families. They must attract their customers and provide a high-quality educational product if they want to stay in business. School choice programs allow families to access schools that are accountable to their children’s needs.
Government schools are not held accountable to children in the current system. A family that is not satisfied with their child’s residentially assigned government school typically only has three options: (1) buy an expensive house that’s near a better government school, (2) pay for a private school out of pocket while still paying for the government school through property taxes, or (3) complain to the government school leaders and hope things get better.
The high costs associated with each of those options leaves most families powerless – especially the least advantaged.
This clip from Andrew Coulson’s award-winning School Inc. highlights the fact that school choice is all about accountability. Low-income families in India are asked the following question: “Why are you spending money on the private schools when the government schools are free?”
Their response is telling:
“In the government schools our children are abandoned.”
Corey A. DeAngelis is a Policy Analyst at the Cato Center for Educational Freedom. He is also a Policy Advisor and Contributing Editor for the Heartland Institute.
His research focuses on the effects of educational choice programs on student achievement and non-academic outcomes such as criminal activity, political and economic freedom, schooling supply, and fiscal impacts. Corey has published several studies on educational choice programs with organizations such as the School Choice Demonstration Project, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as the Journal of School Choice, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Educational Review, Educational Research and Evaluation, and the Cato Journal. His work is also featured at at outlets such as USA Today, The Hill, Washington Examiner, Foundation for Economic Education, EdChoice, and Education Next.
Corey received his Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Arkansas. He additionally holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
This article originally appeared at the CATO Institute. You can read the original here.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.