"The Utah Education Association (union) was
more concerned that the new scholarship program
will prove too popular with parents, which could pave
the way for broader reforms for all parents to choose
different school options for their kids."
Dan Lips, Sr. Fellow in Education
Foundation for Research on Equal opportunity
School-Choice Successes throughout the Country
In January, 2023, Governor Spencer Cox signed an Education Savings Account (ESA) bill
The Beehive State overcame union opposition to join Arizona, West Virginia, Florida, Iowa, and a multitude of states in enacting landmark K-12 reform.
In 2021, the Loudoun County, Virginia, parents responded (for their children) against Covid facemasks; the result: overturning a Democratic Governor,
overturning a Lt. Governor, and overturning the
Virtinia Attorney General.
The result: school-choice advocates, all three.
Newly-elected Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signs school-choice bill for the parents,
and their children.
Arizona Governor, at the time,
Governor Doug Ducey, vowed to the parents of Arizona:
"Bring me school-choice bills; I'll sign them, every time."
A specific "market indicator" is when the industry sector tells the marketplace that something as unbelievable as 150-students per day leaving the State of Arizona's pubic schools in support of Arizona's school-choice "Empowerment Scholarship ESA Account".
" We receive 150 new applications a day!"
Arizona ESA Program
the winner, by far:
Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis celebrates
after signing a bill that expands eligibility for state scholarships
to fund private-school tuition.
The overall national school-choice winner:
one in four children in Florida
take advantage of school-choice programs.
The aforementioned states meet all of the criteria for school-choice success:
Their school-choice parents are well organized;
They enjoy solid champions in their respective legislatures; and
They have strong support from their governors.
Idaho does not meet any of the above three conditions for school-choice success.
The State of Idaho's approach to school choice is through their charter-school program.
Tied to the public-school system, this federal support program is starting to see legislators
beginning to side with the unions on this "parallel-education" system. The reality is that charters
collaborate with public schools far less often than teachers' unions liked, breeding animosity
toward this "avenue of competition" Bill Clinton was, rightfully, looking for when he signed the
charter-school program into effect in 1994.
"Looking back, a schism over charters seems inevitable,
because its roots are so tangled."
Harvard Graduate School of Education
THREE STRIKES, YOU'RE OUT!
What happens when you strike out of the school-choice game during the Idaho 2023 Legislative Session? You have school-choice legislation failures, and students continuing to be educated according to their zip code, not their parents' choice:
S1038 - "Freedom in Education Savings Account"- This bill emulated Arizona's very popular
students-leaving-the-public-school-system-at-150/day "Empowerment Scholarship Account"
bill by establishing education scholarships for K-12 Idaho students.
H0389 - "Idaho Education Opportunity Program" - This legislation would have created an ESA program that included 80% of the per-student funding for to go to K-12 students.
RS1038 - "School-Choice Tax Credit" - This bill was promised a bill number, which was never rendered to the bill sponsor.
S1144 - "Expansion of 'Empowering Parents' Grant" - Funded by Federal Covid Relief money in FY2022, the FY2023 "Leading Idaho" budget provided $30 million more funding for this program.
S1161 - "Empowering Parents Grant" Modification - This bill would have used $12M from the aforementioned $30-million-a-year Empowering Parents education grant program.
Three strikes, Idaho,