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The "only helps the rich" argument against ed choice just doesn't fly

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

As Idaho, Washington, Wyoming and Montana now consider Education Savings Accounts to help families improve educational outcomes, one argument against seems to be used more than any other: "it just helps rich kids" already in private school.

It's a dismissive statement, meant to turn the discussion away from improving outcomes and into a fight over rich versus poor or us versus them. But it's repeated often.

In my recent interview with KTVB's Brian Holmes, the issue came up again.

But the Arizona numbers have changed - and changed dramatically.

Arizona now says its getting about 150 ESA applicants per day. Roughly half of the total applicants now are those who were previously enrolled in public schools, meaning they don't necessarily come from rich families that were already enrolled in private schools.

The fact of the matter is that education choice actually helps level the playing feel. Families who are wealthy are going to be able to afford education choice no matter what. Families who can't afford it should not be assigned to a failing school simply because of their zip code.

Read more about education choice in our special section Education Choice Improves Outcomes.

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