Until now, charter schools seemed to have a bright future, as witnessed by their growth to nearly 7,000 serving nearly 3.2 million students. But two events don’t bode well for their continued prosperity. Spending on charter grants, presently at $440 million, will be rolled into a $19.4 billion block grant to be doled out to state school systems (“Charter Schools Set for Fight as Funding Flatlines,” The New York Times, Feb. 26).
Further, if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that tuition tax credit programs can be used to help students attend religious schools, it will mean that charter schools, which until now have been the only way most parents can exercise school choice, will lose enrollment. After all, why would parents send their children to traditional public schools or charter schools if they can send them to religious schools?
I expect to see religious schools and other private schools grow exponentially in the years ahead. Traditional public schools will be the schools of last resort for many students.
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