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Is this the year state lawmakers finally expand educational opportunity?

Around the country, lawmakers will be returning to state capitols to begin tackling legislative priorities. Those always vary from state to state, but there are inevitably concerns that are widely shared in many parts of the country.

This year it’s clear that education reform will be front-and-center in much of the U.S.

The ongoing pandemic has shined a light on problems with our traditional system of public education:

  • Administrators determined it was unsafe to send young students back into classrooms, but few schools had effective plans for distance learning.
  • When families found distance learning to be inadequate, there were usually no other tools available to ensure kids kept learning.

Daniel Garza of The LIBRE Initiative writes at Real Clear Education that the very reforms which will help students deal with the pandemic are the same ones that can help them succeed in general:

When we think about how best to ensure that every child is given the educational foundation they need to thrive, we must remember that every child is unique. Children have different skills, different interests, and different learning styles. Our educational system, on the other hand, tries to teach them all in the same setting, with the same approach and curriculum, expecting them all to succeed – and knowing that too many won’t.

That’s a mistake – one we must address with innovation that makes school more flexible. This effort has gained steam in the wake of a pandemic that clearly illustrated the problem of a system built entirely on in-person classroom instruction. Some states have already adopted reforms, and more will consider them in the year ahead. The team at The LIBRE Initiative – a nonprofit dedicated to helping the Hispanic community – is working in a number of states to build support for providing parents and educators with new educational options.

Garza highlights policy reforms and legislative proposals legislation that are expected to be actively considered in each state where The LIBRE Initiative is active. They include education savings accounts, funding reform, policies on tuition, and more.

Daniel Garza, president of The LIBRE Initiative, writes in Real Clear Education about reforms that could expand educational opportunity to more families in the wake of the pandemic and the problems in U.S. education it exposed.

Learn more about these debates and the efforts of The LIBRE Initiative team at Real Clear Education.