How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement

Education Week by Evie Blad, July 2, 2021 
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic provided state lawmakers with a new talking point this year as they pushed public programs to send students to private schools. In statehouses around the country, advocates for private school choice pointed to frustrations with school closures and remote-learning struggles as they touted vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and education savings accounts. And they saw a wave of success: Six states had enacted new programs by July 1, and a bill to create a new program in Missouri awaited Gov. Mike Parson’s signature. Governors also approved expansions of 14 existing voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs by loosening eligibility restrictions or expanding their budgets. “Closures and difficulties with online learning have left children in educational peril,” said Wisconsin state Rep. Barbara Dittrich, a Republican, as she pitched an expansion of the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program that was later vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. 
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