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The Epoch Times

Several Republican-led states are advancing school choice programs amidst a growth of alternative learning arrangements spurred by pandemic-related lockdowns.

The new measures sometimes build on already established programs, expanding access to education savings accounts and scholarships, allowing more parents to pull their children from public schools and have the programs help pay for a private school, homeschooling, or even a private tutor.

Such initiatives now have a potential to gain more popularity as parents have been dissatisfied with the way many schools handled the response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, according to Jonathan​ Butcher, education researcher at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

Commonly, public schools switched to partly or fully remote learning last year, which has proved to be substantially less effective than in-person instruction. Many parents have blamed schools for dragging their feet with reopening, even after health authorities acknowledged that it’s possible to do so safely.

Meanwhile, homeschooling has exploded in popularity with parents setting up “pod schools” where several children get together in a home to get taught by a hired tutor, Butcher outlined in a recent paper. The school choice programs in several states could be used to pay for this form of education, Butcher told The Epoch Times.

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