Earlier this week, we tuned into the CATO Institute’s School Choice Myths: Setting the Record Straight on Education Freedom webinar, for a discussion on a new book featuring voices from across the school choice movement dispelling myths surrounding educational options.
Most of the myths were things we hear A LOT in our advocacy work. For example, we constantly hear “charter schools siphon funds away from traditional brick and mortar schools.”
This is false, as the panel featuring Patrick Wolf, Tim Keller, Inez Feltscher Stepman, Ben Scafidi, Corey DeAngelis and Neal McCluskey were quick to point out in the discussion.
In a particularly poignant moment, we were reminded that in public education, funding does not always follow the student. This leads to a situation where schools are receiving funds for students they are not educating.
Corey DeAngelis compared school funding to grocery shopping, and this analogy truly captures the absurdity in school funding:
A shopper, in this case a parent, chooses to purchase their groceries at Safeway (a charter school), however due to the funding mechanisms, Walmart (the brick and mortar school) still receives money for those groceries purchased at Safeway.
How does this make sense? It doesn’t, and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars when it does occur.
Another myth that truly grinds our gears is “parents don’t know enough to practice education choice.” Excuse me? The people who make literally every other decision in that child’s life do not know enough to choose the right education for their child?
As DeAngelis noted, “the bottom line is disadvantaged parents have more incentive to get it right when it comes to their children’s education, not bureaucrats sitting thousands of miles away.”
Want to learn more? Check out DeAngelis and McCluskey’s latest book, School Choice Myths, featuring 14 of the top scholars in education policy debunking some of the biggest myths in education choice. We know this book is certainly on our must-read list!