Op Ed: Real Accountability To Parents Trumps Fake AccountabilityTo Government

Oklahoma passed a major expansion of one of its school choice programs this year, and the education special interests aren’t happy. They’re signaling that they’re about to try the same futile gambit they usually try after this kind of major legislative defeat: fake “accountability” that takes away parental control. Expect this effort to fail in Oklahoma for the same reason parallel efforts fail in every state: once a school choice program exists, parents in the program fight to defend it.

Oklahoma is one of 31 states with private-school choice programs. One of the state’s two programs gives donors a tax credit if they give money to support scholarships that students can use to attend the school of their choice. Because the state is no longer responsible for educating the student in the government school monopoly, the government more than makes up the lost tax revenue in reduced school costs—and parents reclaim their right to control the education of their children.

Unfortunately, these programs are subject to caps on the total amount of funds that can be provided. Obviously these caps are arbitrary and unjustifiable. The program doesn’t cost the state anything, it just has the effect of shifting control of how the money gets spent from the government school monopoly to parents. That’s exactly why the education special interests that profit from the monopoly can’t stand it.

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