Under the status quo, taxpayer dollars fund government schools, not education.
Americans are taxed to provide federal education funding, ostensibly for the education of their children and others, but the money goes to finance public schools regardless of whether those students end up attending them. If families choose to homeschool or send their children to private schools, the taxpayer money marked for their child’s education still goes to the public school, and the family is left to cover the actual cost of their kids’ schooling on their own. This means that in many cases, low-income families have no choice but to send their children to public schools, even if those very schools are failing their students.
The broken system for the allocation of federal education funds was already a problem before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to that crisis and sweeping government restrictions, many public schools will remain closed for in-person learning this fall. Some families who have been forced to rely on these schools simply cannot work and pay their bills without the crucial childcare services that go along with educational programs, and their personal circumstances may be such that draconian COVID-19 avoidance efforts are not necessary nor warranted.
Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, just unveiled a new bill that would help give parents and students the flexibility to choose the learning environment that’s right for their family—by ensuring that the distribution of federal funds lets them do so.