A new national survey of service members, spouses and veterans looks at educational options for military families, their satisfaction and how their choices can play a role in whether a family accepts an assignment or even factor into decisions to leave military service altogether. There are roughly 750,000 school-aged children in active-duty-member households today.
Data show military families are very interested in alternatives to district schools. According to a new EdChoice and Braun Research survey, we know 80 percent of them attend public schools today, despite the fact that more than 60 percent would prefer different schooling environments for their children, such as private school, charter school, virtual school or home school.
In fact, once military and veteran families are informed of how school choice options work, their support for those programs increases dramatically.
Types of School Choice
Education savings accounts (ESAs). Education savings accounts allow families to receive a deposit of public funds into government-authorized savings accounts—often distributed to families via a restricted-use debit card. Families can purchase any combination of private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses and/or other approved customized learning services and materials.
Military respondents were almost five times more likely to support ESAs than they were to oppose them.
Tax-credit scholarships allow families to choose private schools that best fit their needs. Nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations provide those scholarships and are funded by private charitable donations, for which donors are reimbursed through tax credits.
Sixty-three percent of military respondents support the concept of a tax-credit scholarship program.
School vouchers. School vouchers give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children, using all or part of the public funding set aside for their children’s education.
Nearly two out of three military households support school vouchers.
For further facts and figures on education choice opportunities, go to www.edchoice.org.
The schooling options many military parents are able to access now don’t match what they want for their children—and that can affect America’s preparedness.
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