School Enrollment is Down, Proving Californians Want Choice

A recent opinion piece in the Orange County Register doubles down on Californians wanting school choice, stating the decline in enrollment proves it. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously disrupted the education system and school choice is sweeping much of the rest of the nation. More than 30 state legislatures are considering bills that would allow families greater control over their student’s K-12 education. But, for now, the legislative path to school choice appears to be rocky, at best, in California.

Fix California Education suspended its effort to get a school choice initiative on the statewide November ballot and a similar effort led by Californians for School Choice only collected one-fifth of the signatures needed and did not make it onto the ballot. Fortunately, there are policy options outside of the typical school choice agenda that could provide more education options to California’s families and would have a better shot at garnering bipartisan support in the state.

For starters, New Hampshire’s Learn Everywhere program is shattering public education’s monopoly by allowing students to earn high school credit for completing courses—from robotics to music lessons to karate—at approved providers in their communities.  The program was created to recognize that learning experiences were already happening outside of classroom walls under the tutelage of local scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and others. According to New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, who spearheaded the program, ‘It’s basically about mass customization.”

The article goes on to describe similar programs in Idaho and Wisconsin that allow greater flexibility in parents determining the course of their child’s education. Do you wish California would adopt one of the programs in the article? Why, or why not?

What do you think?
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Amy D

Amy D

Amy is a research expert based out of Los Angeles. Her work is dynamic, meeting at the center of political movements and cultural importance. Amy is passionate about creative, justice-focused projects that advance marginalized communities and defy the stereotypes of politics. She loves fashion, as long as it’s comfortable, and while she doesn’t own any pets, Amy would be a cat person.

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