What is Parental School Choice?
Parental School Choice means allowing parents to send their children to the school that best meets their needs – traditional, public charter, private or home school – regardless of address or income. With this idea, parents are in charge of their children’s education.
The number of North Carolina children attending nontraditional schools has increased by 300 percent over the past 20 years, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. More than 221,000 students currently attend public charter, private and home schools across North Carolina.
The Wall Street Journal dubbed 2011 as the “Year of School Choice.” More than a dozen states enacted parental school choice legislation, including North Carolina, where nearly every legislator voted to eliminate the public charter school cap and the majority of lawmakers passed the Tax Credit for Children with Disabilities – the state’s first K-12 measure where private education is an option.
There are various forms of parental school choice:
Public charter schools are independent schools free from the rules and regulations of the traditional public school system, but are held to the same accountability standards as traditional schools. All but 10 states have public charter schools. Click here to learn more.
Homeschooling allows families to truly exercise parental school choice because parents have full control over their children’s schooling. More than 83,000 students are currently homeschooled in North Carolina. Click here to learn more.
Special needs programs allow children with disabilities to attend a school that best addresses their unique needs while helping with the burden of affording tuition. These programs exist because public schools are unable to meet the individual needs of every student. Eight states currently have special needs programs. Click here to learn more.
To learn more about the myths and facts commonly associated with parental school choice, click here.