I support school choice. I believe the right of parents to make the best school choice for their children is the future of public education. I will support higher public funding for education as long as it comes with parental choice. My vote in favor of the ESAs is one of my proudest and most important votes. The bill we passed, SB 1431, funded ESAs at 90% of what a public school would receive if the ESA child went to a public school. So an ESA is always cheaper than a public school. An ESA leaves money on the table for district and charter schools. The bill also capped both annual growth at .5% and total enrollment at 30,000. The ballot language is still being worked on, but I believe that a YES vote will make the current cap voter protected.
I support ESAs because they expand the educational options available to parents, the funding formula is favorable to public education as a whole, and they are capped so they will not be unduly disruptive to public education.
I support school choice and educational reform. But I am an incrementalist. Too much change too fast is disruptive. But over the next 20 years or so, district schools will have to come to terms with the public’s demand for educational freedom. We are not going back to the old district school monopoly.