Education Reform

Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career.

<p>Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career. </p>

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" is how Robert Frost opens his famous poem about choosing the "road not taken," and Arizona is now staring down two different paths when it comes to the future of education funding. Let’s hope state leaders take the less-traveled road because the regularly-traveled one is a road to nowhere.

Arizona policymakers could take a lesson from the classic comedy Ghostbusters. Near the beginning of the film, Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Venkman (Bill Murray) are trying to decide what to do after being kicked out of Columbia University’s paranormal research department for wasting the school’s money.

Everyone would like to be first in something. First across the finish line. First one picked for a team at recess. First one to explore uncharted waters. Thanks to Arizona's private school scholarships, Sarah is going to be the first person in her family to go to college.

Todd, a public school English teacher, and Andrea, a former teacher, know the value of a good education. So when it came time to decide how to teach their four children, they considered several different options.

Jen’s son, Maxwell, is highly intelligent. Jen recognized this early in his life, but she also saw the difficultly he had in some social situations. Anticipating the challenges he would face in a traditional classroom, Jen enrolled him in Benchmark Charter School.

This week the nation celebrates National School Choice Week, a national event designed to spread the word that every child deserves the chance at a great education. Each day this week the Goldwater Institute will share the story of a family that has used their freedom to choose the best educational setting for their child—from choosing a public school outside their home district to Arizona’s cutting-edge education savings accounts and beyond.

We cannot expect everyone to buy the same kind of car. People have different needs—a handyman wants a truck, a mom needs a van with sliding doors, and someone with a long commute needs a car with good gas mileage.

The New Year is full of promise for over 200,000 Arizona children. Why? Because those children now have more options for schooling than ever before.

As states around the country get set to start their legislative sessions in January, making sure children are attending schools that challenge them and prepare them for life tops the list of priorities. Texas is one of the states considering a new scholarship for children in K-12, and even U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has suggested a tax credit scholarship program at the federal level.

It’s time to let everyone—parents in Arizona and other states, along with state and national policymakers—see the results of Arizona’s education savings accounts. Over 400 children are using the accounts this year, and thousands more become eligible next year.

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