Updated: Jul 21
Governor Brad Little has announced that the Idaho “Empowering Parents” program has received more than 14,000 applications.
This is a remarkable accomplishment and show the desire by parents to have more options and more choices.
The program provides eligible families with grand funds that they can use toward education expenses to help students recover from learning loss caused during the pandemic. Results show pandemic shutdowns erased two decades of progress in math and reading.
“Eligible purchases include computers and technology, internet access, instructional materials, tutoring services, and educational services and therapies through approved vendors in the Empowering Parents online marketplace,” the Idaho state Board of Education says.
While not technically a school choice program, it is very much an education freedom option.
Each eligible family will have access to $1,000 per eligible student, with a maximum award of $3,000 per family.
Parents and families want and need options that can supplement their child’s education. This is especially true for special needs kids who seemed to suffer the greatest learning loss during the pandemic.
The popularity of the program – as well as education freedom advancements in other states – should get the attention of state lawmakers.