The Heritage Foundation in the USA has a new website covering ‘school choice’ – that is how parents in different states are able to make choices in schooling, whether in private or public (local government) schools.
The Foundation asserts that school choice is a growing trend in America.
Home schooling is an example of ‘school choice’ and has grown very dramatically:
Home schooling is the practice of schooling students at home by parents or guardians. Home schooling is the fastest growing form of school choice. From 1994–2003, the number of home-schooled students rose from 345,000 to 1,100,000.
Charter Schools did not exist at all prior to the 1990s:
Since Minnesota enacted the first charter school law in 1991, over 3,000 independent public schools of choice have opened their doors. A charter school is a public school sponsored by a local school board, university, state board of education, or other state governing body and operated by groups of parents, teachers, other individuals, or private organizations. Charter schools are granted more autonomy than district-run public schools and are held accountable for student performance. Because of the flexibility granted to them, charter schools may differentiate themselves by employing a curriculum that is different from the district’s, having a thematic approach, instituting a longer school day, requiring parental involvement, or using innovative technology. Like other public schools, charter schools are open to all students and are funded through tax receipts.
I was surprised to read that 11 per cent of American school children go to private schools:
According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, 11 percent of students are enrolled in private schools.
The source for this is a here but I have not found the precise reference in the document to check that the figure is not at all misleading. I had previously been told that Americans did not bother with private education except at university.
At any rate, it does seem as though school choice is a growing phenomenon in the USA. It would be good to understand it more fully mand discover, in Britain, what is the extent of the growth of fee-paying faith schools and of home-schooling.
These are examples of people fleeing the unsatisfactory welfare state delivery of services.