by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As we celebrate National School Choice Week, myths abound concerning educational choice programs such as vouchers, scholarship tax credits, and education savings account programs.
Those who oppose empowering parents to choose from a wide array of educational options, including private schools and service providers, promote various myths to deter policymakers from enacting choice programs. These myths include the notion that school choice programs take money from an already underfunded public school system; that choice programs fail to improve academic outcomes for participating students; that choice programs do not lead to better outcomes in traditional public schools; and, of course, that by allowing parents to enroll their children in religious, as well as nonreligious schools, choice programs violate constitutional principles of separation of church and state.
As Jay Greene explains: “Myths aren’t lies. They’re beliefs that people adopt because they have an air of plausibility . . . . But of course, myths aren’t true ? or at least they’re not the whole truth.” As the nation’s leading law firm defending school choice program, the Institute for Justice (IJ), has a desire to ensure that the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is understood when it comes to school choice. This is why we published 12 Myths and Realities about Private Educational Choice Programs. The report identifies, examines, and debunks many of the myths surrounding private educational choice programs – including the myths detailed above.