Thursday, February 11, 2021

Why Education Savings Accounts are the great equalizer for school children | Opinion

Justin Owens
by Shaka Mitchell and Justin Owens,
Shaka Mitchell 
The Tennessee
- On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court accepted the widely publicized Education Savings Accounts—or ESA—case. 

In 2019, the state legislature offered a lifeline to families in our worst-performing school districts. They passed the ESA program, which would allow parents to take a portion of the dollars we already spend on their child’s education and use those dollars to send their child to a school of their choice. Almost immediately, the city of Nashville and Shelby County sued the state to stop parents from utilizing this important program. 

... Unlike families with means, lower-income families can’t just pick up and move to a better school district, nor can they afford private school tuition to send their child to a school of their choice. They are completely stuck. We must do better. While lower courts sided with these local governments, we are optimistic that the Supreme Court will reverse those lower courts and allow the program to launch this fall. 

...The ESA program would be the great equalizer for these families. Regardless of their ZIP code or how much money they make, parents in Memphis and Nashville would finally have options. They could get their children into the school that best serves their needs by simply allowing the money to follow them to the school of their choice. 

 ... research shows that these local governments would actually save money under the ESA program. When a child leaves with an ESA, the public school district no longer has the expense of educating that child, but the program would still let the district keep a portion of the funding. (read more)

Shaka Mitchell is the Tennessee state director of American Federation for Children. Justin Owen is president & CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee.


Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment