National School Choice Week

Corey DeAngelis: Why 2021 Is a Turning Point for School Choice

The silver lining to disastrous education lockdowns? A massive increase in support for all sorts of student-centered reforms.


Nearly a year into ubiquitous school closings as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic—and even with a vaccine being rolled out—it's far from clear when most students will be going back to full-time, in-person classes.

How are the shutdowns affecting K-12 education and changing the way we think about public schools? Corey De Angelis, the Reason Foundation's director of school choice, tells Nick Gillespie that a historically large number of parents are leaving traditional residential-assignment schools and looking to take their education dollars with them. As student failure rates climb and dissatisfaction with distance learning increases, says DeAngelis, there's also mounting frustration with teachers unions for their continued opposition to reopening despite mounting evidence that schools are not a significant source of infection.

Over a dozen state legislatures are considering laws that would massively expand publicly funded school choice and De Angelis says that the pandemic ultimately may accomplish what decades of white papers have failed to deliver: a switch to a system in which parents rather than bureaucrats decide where their kids go to school.