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One of the biggest victims of government overreach during the coronavirus pandemic has been America’s schoolchildren.
For months, many schools across the country have been closed in the name of slowing the spread of the virus, despite ample evidence that school closures were misguided from the start.
Even the CDC director has agreed that schools should be open. Nevertheless, scores of schools remain closed.
Some states, however, are beginning to push back.
In Virginia, Republican lawmaker Michael J. Webert has introduced House Bill 1742, which would tie certain school funding to in-person instruction.
“[I]n the event that any school board does not provide the option of in-person instruction as the sole method of instruction for any enrolled student,” the bill reads, “the parent of any such student who withdraws his child from attendance to receive, upon request, an education voucher.”
The voucher would be equal to “a prorated share of the applicable Standards of Quality per-pupil state funds appropriated for public school purposes and apportioned to the school division, including the per-pupil share of state sales tax funding in basic aid and any state per-pupil share of special education funding for which the child is eligible, to cover the expenses of providing in-person instruction in an alternative setting.”
This would be huge for so many young learners and their parents.
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Many parents are looking for other options.
Schools receive a portion of their funding based on the number of pupils they educate. When schools refuse to open, it begs an important question: Why should schools continue to receive money for pupils they refuse to educate on campus?
The Virginia bill answers that question simply: They shouldn’t.
Instead, the bills says, if a school will not provide full in-person instruction to a pupil, the money should go to that pupil’s parents instead.
The money would be provided to families in the form of a voucher that can be used to fund alternative education options.
It will allow parents, rather than the government, more autonomy over their children’s education while simultaneously punishing schools that don’t fulfill their purposes.
While the bill would not make vouchers available to all families, as it is only for those whose schools are not providing in-person instruction, it could be part of a new push to eventually make vouchers available to every American family with school age children.
Hopefully, more states and schools follow suit.
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