Universal school choice would benefit not just Georgia students, but the state as a whole.
In 2021, the Foundation published a study highlighting the benefits of focusing education funding on families instead of institutions through the passage of education savings accounts (ESAs).
Since then, the nationwide landscape of school choice has changed dramatically, with several states passing legislation, including ESAs, that have expanded educational choice and extended access to thousands of families and students. While the most recent effort to pass ESAs in Georgia came up short, the policy remains popular on the frontlines of legislation around the country.
Beyond its most apparent service features, such as granting more flexibility to families and better opportunities for the disadvantaged, ESA legislation illustrates advantages to educational choice in general. Therefore, this study remains relevant in any discussion about education policy, and we chose to highlight it during School Choice Week in Georgia.
It highlights research that shows how ESAs and similar policies lead to positive outcomes by several metrics. They give power to parents to make the best decisions for their children’s education and extracurriculars. They furthermore make those choices affordable for lower income and otherwise disadvantaged families. Research also demonstrates relationships between educational choice programs and outcomes that have clear and measurable economic and social effects:
- Improved math and reading scores
- Higher likelihood to graduate
- Higher expected gains in lifetime earnings among students
- Reductions in crime
Read the full study here.