Private Schools Are Adapting to Lockdown Better Than the Public School Monopoly

A new survey finds parents are substantially more satisfied with private and charter schools’ responses to the pandemic than they were with those of traditional public schools.

by Corey A. DeAngelis

More than 120,000 American schools have closed since March, a change affecting more than 55 million students. As we approach August, an intense debate about reopening schools has been brewing. One side argues that schools should reopen so that families can return to work and children can receive the education taxpayers have paid for. The other side says that schools cannot reopen safely without $116 billion more in federal funding, on top of the $13 billion already allocated to states to reopen schools.

This debate wouldn’t be so contentious if we funded students instead of school systems. The funding could follow children to wherever their families feel they would receive an effective education, be it a district-run school, a charter school, a private school, or a home setting. In that situation, if an individual school decided not to reopen—or if it reopened unsafely or inadequately—families could take their children’s education dollars elsewhere.

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