How to help parents direct the education of their children after COVID

Jan 19, 2021

Key Findings

1. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it is the right and responsibility of parents to direct the education of their children.

2. When Governor Inslee shut down the public schools in March, parents quickly realized the remainder of the school year would largely be lost to learning.

3. In the fall of 2020, parents pulled some 32,000 children out of traditional public schools.

4. The continuing COVID crisis has dramatically shown that parents need more education options for their children.

5. SB 6520, introduced last session, proposed giving tax-credit scholarships of up to $15,000 to the parents of special needs children and the legal guardians of foster children.

6. Tax credit scholarships would provide families with access to private therapists, tutors and other resources to help make up learning losses for the most vulnerable.

7. HB 2933, also introduced last session, proposed providing a $12,000 Education Freedom Scholarships to any family that requested one. 8. Education Freedom Scholarships would ensure that all children have access to a range of public and private educational services to meet their needs.



Parents have the right to direct the education of their children. Public education administrators have sometimes tried to dispute that right, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this right is based on the fundamental liberties enjoyed by every American, and protected by the U.S. Constitution.

This study briefly describes these constitutional cases, and describes how policymakers can improve the ability of parents to fulfill the responsibility to provide for the education of their children.

Read the full Policy Note here.

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