RALEIGH – The necessity for education choice and flexibility has proven monumentally important in a world where economic competition is global and pandemics can disrupt school and work life with jarring immediacy.
Today, Civitas Institute and Reason Foundation released “Funding Students Instead of Systems: The Economic Impacts of Statewide Education Savings Accounts in North Carolina,” a study, authored by Corey DeAngelis, Ph.D.
The results of this timely and consequential study stand to shape our understanding of the impact education funding has on children, families, and the community. The multivariate nature of this research challenges prevailing, but often insufficient, norms that have artificially sustained the existing education monopoly. Based on this study’s findings, the mandate to policymakers is clear: Fund students, not systems.
On this salient conclusion, DeAngelis writes, “Education funding is supposed to be meant for educating students—not protecting a government monopoly.”
DeAngelis also notes, “The current funding structure of the K-12 public education system prioritizes school systems over individual students… Statewide education savings accounts would put the power in the hands of families by funding students instead of school systems, just like we already do with many other taxpayer-funded initiatives.”
The study suggests that a universal ESA in North Carolina could:
- Produce $19 billion in economic benefits from higher lifetime earnings associated with increases in academic achievement.
- Generate $790 million in economic benefits from additional high school graduates and $12 million from reductions in social costs associated with crimes.
- Provide taxpayer savings of potentially $115 million in one year.
Among many other boons, both in economic and community measures.
Bob Luebke, director of policy at Civitas Institute noted, “Coronavirus has upended instruction for thousands of students in North Carolina and left many parents concerned about their child’s educational needs. The latest data from Education Week estimates that 60 percent of the public schools in North Carolina reopened without any in-person instruction. The public school’s version of remote learning has been a disaster for too many families.”
“These are difficult times for North Carolina families. Our current system of funding schools puts the needs of institutions before the needs of students. ESAs rightfully elevate the educational needs of each child over the needs of a system,” Luebke added.
For questions regarding the study’s findings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org