Controversy With School Choice | Teen Ink

Controversy With School Choice

May 31, 2022
By SaroshP BRONZE, Morris Plains, New Jersey
SaroshP BRONZE, Morris Plains, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

School Choice Funding

People are often given choices in their life, but more often than not, the choice is not truly theirs. It is often irksome when you are not given a choice in something you find very influential to you and your loved ones’ lives. School choice has been a controversial topic between public school boards, the government, and families alike. Public school boards feel that school choice programs, such as magnet schools, should not be able to receive funding from the government, however parents feel that they should be able to have a choice on where their children go to school. Unfortunately for public schools, there are several reasons that school choice programs should be able to be supported by public funds.

The first reason that school choice programs should be able to be supported by public funding is because they are cheaper than public schools and they save resources. First off, in the article, “School Choice Saves Money and Helps Kids”, the author did a “...fiscal analysis of 40 choice programs from their inceptions through fiscal 2018 and found that the program cumulatively saved taxpayers up to 28.3 billion dollars on net” (Lueken 2). This shows that school choice is a solution as it saves a lot of money for people who pay tax, including parents of the children. Another reason that these programs are deserving of public funding is that they educate children at half the cost of public schools. Moreover, in the same article, the author reveals that “... only 2% of all publicly funded K-12 students in states where school choice programs operate participate in them, and these programs receive only 1% of the funding for public K-12 education” (Lueken 2). This shows that there is no reason for school choice programs not to receive funds, as the data shows that there is a marginal amount of money being taken away and there is no major loss for any group involved. Lastly, resources are not being siphoned from anybody. In that article, the author stated that “if anything, both public and school choice programs operating alongside each other in a choice environment gives more of an incentive for both groups to use their resources more efficiently and to center their efforts on student retention” (Lueken 2-3). This shows that school choice can be a solution, as this can be solved if school boards cooperate to provide a choice environment where the skills of children can be enhanced. With the information provided, one can tell that school choice programs are good for the future due to their low costs.

Additionally, kids improve academically in a choice environment. To start with, studies have shown that school choice programs do not bring any negative impact to students. For example, in the article, “School Choice Saves Money and Helps Kids”, the author sympathizes with a 2019 meta-analysis conducted by scholars from the University of Texas and elsewhere. This study concluded that “The lack of an overall negative impact on student outcomes might ease critics’ concerns that competition will hurt students left behind due to school choice policies” (Lueken 2). This shows that kids improve academically as there is no negative impact that hinders school progress. Furthermore, standardized test scores can improve as well.  In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, “School Choice Scores for Public Schools”, it states that “...a study that finds a positive correlation between the education options states offer and test results on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)” (School 1). This shows that school choice programs can be a solution as they can improve test scores when they are implemented. To end with, school choice programs provide a better learning environment. In the second article, the writer stated that “The study finds the rankings strongly correlate with state NAEP scores for 8th grade math and reading. ’Higher levels of education freedom,’ the authors write, ‘are significantly associated with higher NAEP achievement levels and higher NAEP achievement gains’ between 2003 and 2019 in all of their models” (School 1). This shows that kids improve academically as if there is a work environment with more freedom provided, their test scores will improve. If the overall academic experience improves in a choice environment, then choice schools deserve public funding.

Finally, parents want to have choices in their children’s education. To commence, according to the article “School Choice Saves Money and Helps Kids”, “Parental support in the U.S. for various school-choice policies ranged between 74% and 84%, according to a 2021 EdChoice poll” (Lueken 3). This shows that parents want to have choices as around ⅘ of parents in the U.S. support school choice policies, some which vary differently than ones that public schools offer.  Secondly, in the article, “Forget Boards of Education. Push Lawmakers for School Choice”, it states that “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed weaknesses in the system's ability to respond to unique situations. Now a growing army of Georgia's frustrated moms and dads, feeling ignored and fearing their children's academic regression, are protesting at local school boards in waves” (Downey 2). This clearly shows that parents are not happy about how the public school system is currently functioning and how their children’s academic career is progressing, and these boards are not listening. Last of all, boards have shown they will not make the changes that families of the children being educated want. In the same article, the text stated that in the past, school boards have resisted forms of change, as the preferences of parents have rarely won over the rules of a self-obsessed education system(Downey 2). This exposes the fact that school boards have no care for the concerns of the parents. This can easily backfire, as public schools are funded by taxpayers, the majority of which are parents who care about the education of their children. If the policies do not comply with how these parents think their children should be treated, then the entire school system could collapse. This is not a problem with school choice, as “Hundreds of thousands of additional students will have access to an education that fits their needs, and no family should be left out” (Downey 3).

Thus, school choice programs deserve to be supported by public funds because they are cheaper than public schools, kids improve academically, they save taxpayer money and resources, and parents like to have choices in the education of their children. Opponents of school choice usually say that these programs introduce problems by taking away much-needed resources and in turn start harming public schools and their students. Conversely, such claims can be refuted if school boards use their resources efficiently to do what is necessary for children’s education to be improved. There is no reason school choice programs should not receive public funding, and opposers need to resign to the fact that a change in the school system will only benefit society in the future Now, the choice of education lies within the ability of the government to accept public funding for school choice programs. 





Works Cited

Downey, Maureen. "Forget Boards of Education. Push Lawmakers for School Choice." Atlanta 

Journal-Constitution, 10 Feb 2022. SIRS Issues Researcher,

Lueken, Martin F. "School Choice Saves Money and Helps Kids." Wall Street Journal, 13 Dec 

2021. SIRS Issues Researcher,

"School Choice Scores for Public Schools." Wall Street Journal, 27 Mar 2021. SIRS Issues 


The author's comments:

I wrote this piece in my 8th grade English class for my argumentative unit.

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on Jun. 8 at 12:37 pm
aarav0116 BRONZE, Morrisplains, New Jersey
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on Jun. 8 at 12:34 pm
JulienYang BRONZE, Morris Plains, New Jersey
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covers topic really well

on Jun. 8 at 12:28 pm
spragada26 BRONZE, Parsippany, New Jersey
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Good job

on Jun. 7 at 5:18 pm
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