“Educational pluralism—a school system in which the government funds and regulates, but does not necessarily provide, public education—is the democratic norm around the world. The list of educationally plural systems is long, and it includes the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Belgium, Denmark, Indonesia, Israel, Sweden, and France.”
Source: Manhattan Institute, The Case for Educational Pluralism in the U.S.
I recently learned about educational pluralism while attending an event hosted by the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law titled “The McCullen Center Presents: Educational Freedom in the Age of COVID“. The event caught my attention as it advertised this moment in history as “a key moment to consider long-term, sustainable improvements to the traditional education system in the United States”.
As someone who had navigated the process to apply for a charter school designation, and recently announced a campaign for School Director I was compelled to attend an event highlighting the future growth of education here in the US. If you are interested in additional details on the event, please click here, or if you would like to watch the replay it is available on the Villanova University YouTube channel:
To say this panel presentation was eye-opening was an understatement. I was riveted for the entire hour alternating between dropped jaw, gasps of amazement, and animated exclamations saying “yes! this! we need this!”.
If you think this is a far-fetched dream in the United States or Pennsylvania then I highly recommend you read an opinion piece from The Washington Examiner published on March 07, 2021 titled “Pennsylvania students try to get back on track as teachers unions fight to stop them“. It will walk you through legislation that has been proposed here – in Pennsylvania – to provide all students in Pennsylvania with “Education Opportunity Accounts”.
I cannot say it better than the author himself, “this is the most ambitious school choice reform initiative in the Keystone State’s history.”
This is what the future of education looks like. And if we want to continue to fill our public school hallways with the children of our community then we better be prepared to be competitive. Because if not this bill, then there will be another one like it and make no mistake this is an education equity game changer. Putting tax dollars back in the hands of the students and their families to make the choices that best suit their educational needs.
We are blessed to live in an area that has some of the most sought after public and private schools in Pennsylvania. Now is not the time to assume that our past growth will sustain us through this next phase of education choice reform.
As a parent I support choice. As a School Director I support choice. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight like…well, you know…to make the West Chester Area School District the most desirable elementary & secondary educational system in PA. Please remember that when you cast your vote for WCASD School Director – Region 3 on May 18th!