The School Choice Fraud Accountability Myth

The Justice Foundation
April 6, 2023

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, April 6, 2023 /Christian Newswire/ — The following is submitted by Allan E. Parker, President of The Justice Foundation:

One of the most disturbing arguments against school choice in Texas is that there would be no “accountability” if each child’s share of funding followed the child to the school where the parents feel the child would learn best, including private schools. By the most basic and important metric of all – basic reading, the public school “accountability system” is a massive failure – a fraud. Why do we want to protect a “school system” that produces 50% failure rates?

The argument is that public schools are accountable to all of these regulations and therefore, private schools should be subject to them also, or there would be no accountability.

What bunk! The accountability system in the public schools system is a fraud. We would expect, and we spend billions of dollars, supposedly to produce students able to read and write at grade level. But only about 50% of the Texas public school children are able to read and do math at grade level. That means 50% of the children in Texas are failing the basics, reading and math, under the current public school accountability system.

What kind of accountability is that? That is why massive numbers of Texans, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Black, White and Brown ethnic groups, all support school choice. School choice means real accountability with incremental financial results for failure. Not that public schools would close, they would be encouraged to improve. The money should follow the child to the school of the parents’ choice and the schools that fail their students should receive less money as less students attend, or they can improve. Parents want real accountability through money going with the child to the school of the parents’ choice.

Why would anyone want massive regulations that produce 50% failure to read and do math to be imposed on private schools? Let’s reduce regulations on public schools and free children as well. If each student’s share of funding was allowed to follow the child to the school where the parents think the child would best learn, life would be better for parents and children.

Allan E. Parker, Jr. is a former Professor of Education Law and represented school districts for six years.

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