The education choice survey referenced in the last post was a true revelation in that it found younger Virginians (those just out of school or in parenting years) more supportive of education choice than older Virginians. In other words, those with the most recent experience with public schools are less likely to want their children to attend them. Another whopping revelation:
» 65 percent of those surveyed drastically underestimate how much Virginia spends on public education per student: 28 percent believe the cost to be between $3,001 and $6,000; and 19 percent believe it to be less than $3,000. But the actual 2007 school year figure was nearly $12,000 per student.
No wonder polls show Virginians support more funding for public education! When two-thirds underestimate the current and real expenditure by two or three times the actual number what's needed aren't more polls that perpetuate a false positive, but real education on public education.
Clearly Virginians want education freedom. The issue of school choice is not a public vs. private debate. It is simply about the best opportunity for every child and parents’ rights to make that choice. While charter schools are certainly a widely supported idea and Virginia’s charter school law needs changing, there is more to be done. Virginia's students deserve the best education possible — public or private or home or charter — and they deserve it now. It’s time for the education establishment to stop obstructing reform and, instead, help provide education freedom in Virginia.