The Fordham Institute’s analysis of “charter school deserts” helps answer a vital question: Where are neighborhoods in which low-income children lack access to schools of choice? Their interactive tool provides a literal roadmap for expanding charters where they are most needed.
A recent update to the map conveniently shows that private schools pick up the slack in many charter school deserts. This is especially true in Miami, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis. It is no coincidence these cities are in states with vibrant private choice programs, such as vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, and education scholarship accounts (ESAs).
But the map also illustrates how many communities remain deprived of choice. Look at Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Boston and you recognize the need to establish oases of opportunity in charter school deserts.
Hundreds of thousands of children have benefited from private choice programs since the first—Milwaukee’s voucher program—was enacted in 1990. As America closes out the third decade of private choice, here are three developments that could help states fill the access gaps.
Customized, multi-use choice
The original voucher concept was simple, and has long been practiced in higher education: Instead of sending funding directly to a school, attach the funds...