April 16, 2022

It’s been more than two years since the public education establishment started forcing school shutdowns on American families. And two things are clear: Parents are wresting control of their kids’ education away from teachers unions and bureaucrats—and this parent-led movement is here to stay. 

Just this past week, The Associated Press reported on the continuing surge in homeschooling, explaining that “many parents have chosen to continue directing their children’s educations themselves” and citing “a desire to keep what has worked for their children” as one of the main factors. Homeschooling isn’t for every family, but Goldwater-championed school choice policies empower families to make the educational choices that best meet their kids’ unique needs.

The homeschooling surge shows that while self-interested teachers unions disregarded the needs of children during COVID, there may have been a silver lining. “The frustration—and desperation—of parents determined to fight for a better experience for their kids may have put K-12 on a permanent course correction—one that will long outlast COVID-19 and that empowers parents with the freedom and flexibility to choose the educational path for their children,” Goldwater’s Matt Beienburg, Director of the Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy and Director of Education Policy, writes at Discourse magazine.

Read more about how the education establishment boosted the school choice movement at Discourse.

Parents Demand Transparency, Public Opinion Backs Them Up

Concerned parents around the nation are making their voices heard with a simple demand: transparency. They want to find out what their children are learning in taxpayer-funded schools.

“When I enrolled my daughter in kindergarten, I wanted to know what she would learn,” Rhode Island mom Nicole Solas, whom Goldwater is defending pro bono, writes at Townhall. “In response, our school district bullied, harassed, defamed, evaded, and stonewalled me. Then the teachers union sued me.” She adds: “If schools are so proud of what they teach, why do they go to such great lengths to hide it?”

Parents like Nicole are bravely fighting back against a public education establishment that wants to keep them in the dark. And the American public overwhelmingly is on their side. According to nationwide polling, 84 percent of voters support the key concept behind Goldwater’s landmark academic transparency reform—that parents should be able to see the curriculum plans and materials for their children’s classes. Our reform has been introduced in more than twenty states, and in Arizona, where it has passed the state Senate and awaits a House vote, 72 percent of voters support legislation that requires K-12 district and charter public schools to post all aspects of their curriculum to their website. Moreover, 88 percent think parents should be able to compare curricula between schools prior to enrollment.

Read Nicole’s full op-ed at Townhall here, and read more about the Arizona polling results here.

Americans Escape Government’s Heavy Hand by Flocking to AZ

In too many states, it’s the same old story: high unemployment, overregulation, crippling taxation, and an overall economic climate made worse by the heavy hand of government. But it’s a different story in Arizona, which has adopted Goldwater’s vision of getting government out of the way.

So it’s no surprise that Americans are flocking to Arizona in droves, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers. After all, it’s home to the lowest flat tax rate in America, passed in 2021 with Goldwater’s leadership. And Arizona was the first state to pass Goldwater’s Breaking Down Barriers to Work law, which has allowed nearly 4,000 experienced professionals with occupational licenses earned in other states to get to work.

The data is clear, as Goldwater Deputy Director of Communications Jennifer Tiedemann writes at In Defense of Liberty: “While other states like neighboring California are putting up roadblocks to a bright economic future for their residents, Arizona is providing a great blueprint for how to build a stronger economy that works for its people.”

Read more at In Defense of Liberty.

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