Map: School choice expansion available to a substantial share of students

More than half of states (29) offer students and families access to school choice programs through education savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, and/or traditional vouchers. Eleven states now offer all or nearly all their students access to such a program, with 18 additional states plus Washington, D.C. offering smaller programs, reports The Washington Post.

Families of program participants can direct a portion of the dollars allocated for their child’s education to pay for approved education expenses, including tuition at a nonpublic school, educational therapies, and tutoring, to name a few.

The creation of new programs and the expansion of current programs has benefited hundreds of thousands of students, removing financial barriers that previously kept certain families from accessing alternative educational paths. It has also encouraged an explosion of entrepreneurship and innovation in education that includes a variety of different people, perspectives, and pedagogies. Having a diverse and decentralized education system means that no one educational method, educational philosophy, worldview is inherently superior.

“…[W]e can see the promise of the free market to satisfy diverse needs and interests while cultivating social harmony,” wrote Kerry McDonald with the Foundation for Economic Education. “Each family is able to freely choose the education that works best for their children without imposing their will or worldview upon others.”

States with School Choice Programs

(includes education savings accounts, vouchers, and tax-credit scholarship programs)

Source: Data from EdChoice, graphic created by Laura Meckler with The Washington Post