Giving Compass' Take:

· Even before her appointment as U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos was one of the biggest advocates of the school choice movement. The Hechinger Report discusses Devos’ model of school choice and the effects it may have on funding of schools.

· How would allowing parents to choose schools for their children affect the funding and number of students at different institutions? Would choosing schools improve the education children receive?

· Learn more about voucher schools.

Before she was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos was one of the wealthiest advocates of the charter school and school choice movement in the country. After assuming her role in the Trump Administration, she became one of the most powerful. At her 2017 Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos began by asking the senators, “Why in 2017 are we still questioning parents’ ability to exercise educational choice for their children?”

The school choice movement is, ostensibly, about giving parents the ability to use state and federal dollars to choose other schools – private, parochial, charter, even online schools – if they feel their local public school isn’t doing a good job. In the United States, 90 percent of students  go to public schools, usually schools assigned to them based on where they live.

In Devos’ model of school choice, students would receive vouchers, or a set amount of federal dollars, that would follow them to whatever school they choose. But critics say this system would create inequity, and allow federal dollars to go to private and religious institutions. And it might not help students do better. Research in Indiana, Louisiana and Ohio has shown that students who use vouchers to attend charters and private schools in those states are performing worse on standardized tests than students in public schools.

Read the full article about choosing schools by APM Reports at The Hechinger Report.