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Commentary By Jason L. Riley

States Take the Lead in School Reform

Education Pre K-12

Almost all now allow charters, and the next step is education savings accounts.

It may come as a shock to some readers, but there are bigger education stories to report these days than where transgender students should shower and go potty.

After years of federal overreach through No Child Left Behind, Common Core and Obama administration “guidance” on lavatory usage, the states—where Republicans now occupy 33 of the 50 governors’ offices—are not only reasserting local control of K-12 education but reimagining it.

Kentucky and Montana might soon be crossed off that ignominious list of seven states that don’t allow public charter schools. The Bluegrass State is considering a bill that could make charters an option for families as early as next year. On Monday, charter-school legislation sponsored by a Democrat passed the Montana House with bipartisan support. “The Constitution does not guarantee the unions in our schools the right to control them and the money that are there, and that’s the scenario we have today,” said Montana state Rep. Fred Thomas, a Republican supporter of the bill, at a hearing.

Even states that already have charter laws are moving to strengthen them. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, recently announced an effort to make charters easier to open, operate and innovate. And courts continue to reject attempts by teachers unions and other charter opponents to thwart the will of parents and keep underprivileged children trapped in low-quality schools run by union members. Last week, Washington state’s charter law survived a court challenge, and the judge’s ruling rejected claims that charter schools are unaccountable and divert funds from traditional public schools.

In addition to this charter progress, education reformers see prospects for more private school choice in the form of education savings accounts....

Read the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal