Fund students, not systems

Sep 28, 2022

The past years of upheaval in the public education system have highlighted the need for flexibility in the delivery of education so parents can address the needs of their children. When the system isn't working for students, it's time to give back control to parents and let them find the best solutions for their children. 


Did the school closures hurt students?

Unfortunately, yes. WPC released a full study detailing the full harms children endured due to the problems with the public education system. Some of the negative results shown were 70% of students failing to meet math standards and 52% failing to meet English standards after the school shutdowns. Beyond the broad harms, lower income and minority students were especially harmed, and the current system actively prevents them from accessing better school options.



Did alternative schools perform better?

Yes! Not only have charter schools outperformed their traditional counterparts before the shutdowns, but they were much quicker to resume in-person education. Though relatively new to Washington, their success has been demonstrated with stories of students from around the state getting access to a great public education. Charter schools are just one facet of alternative options, with homeschooling and private schooling also growing in number as parents took their kids out of the state schools in record numbers. Allowing more options so that the needs of the unique, individual student and their family can be met provides more chances for success. See the recent success of an optional choice program which increased math proficiency by 45% in one year!


Can more money fix the public education system?

Students have different needs, and helping each individual person requires different approaches. While an adequate level of spending in a school system is important, the way money is spent is vastly more important to helping create better outcomes for students. Too often when more money is spent on public education, it doesn't go to help children, but rather to reinforce the system.

Revenue for the system has dramatically increased, but learning standards have not. The bottom line: data shows adding more money to schools does not necessarily improve outcomes for the students.



How can we help students succeed?

Simply put, fund the students, not the system! Whether you are a parent who objects to the way your child is being taught or frustrated by the continued closures and politics surrounding schools, creating a system where the money follows the student is a great opportunity to let children find an environment that works for them. Families that have been struggling through COVID closures and have students that need help catching up, children with special needs or in the foster system, and even students who need a little boost in reading instruction all have different needs. Let parents decide what's best for their child.