Where do Oregonians send their children to school? Where would they send them if they had the choice?
Right now, 91 percent of Oregon families send their children to a regular public school – usually the one chosen for them based on where they live. But a new public opinion survey reveals that nearly nine out of ten Oregonians would opt out of regular public schools altogether if they could. What schools would they choose? Forty-four percent would choose private schools, while most of the rest would select charter, virtual or homeschooling.
Why the stark contrast?
It’s because most people can’t afford to pay taxes for public schools and tuition for private schools at the same time. Even though more than 5 billion tax dollars a year go toward educating Oregon’s school-age children, virtually all of that money goes to public school districts, not parents or students. Send your children where the state wants you to send them and their education is “free.” Make another choice, and you foot the bill yourself. The tax money stays in the public system, even if your child is being educated somewhere else.
Oregonians clearly want to be able to choose where their children go to school. It’s about time that our lawmakers give them that choice by letting the money follow the child.