As has been true for decades, government provided education for kids depends primarily on where they live. Kids can attend school for as assigned to them based on their zip code for free.
For a while, that worked well. But as time passed, there has been increased desire for choice– the ability for a family to have the same government support for something other than their local public school.
This issue become more prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, as increased attention was paid to how bad schools were getting, particularly in urban areas.
Today, many parents are increasingly anxious about sending their children to the local public school they’re assigned to based on their zipcode. As shown in the Gallup chart below, only about 30% of parents have confidence in public schools, compared with 60% in the 1970s:
A recent poll from Paul Diperna at The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice shows the overwhelming desire among parents for more choices:
“When asked for a preferred school type, a plurality of Americans chose a private school (41%) as a first option for their child. A little more than one-third of respondents (36%) would select a regular public school. Nearly equal proportions would select a public charter school (12%) or opt to homeschool their child (9%).
“Those private preferences signal a glaring disconnect with actual school enrollment patterns in the United States. The reality check is profound.”