School Choice

There are two general categories of school choice programs: public and private. Public choice options provide parents with educational choices within the public school sector and include open enrollment, magnet schools and charter schools. Private choice programs use public dollars to fund education options in the private sector, often at private schools. These programs include vouchers, education saving accounts and scholarship tax credits.

Additionally, the following resources capture state policy trends, examples and other contextual information important for anyone working on these issues.

Here is a two-page explainer:


50-State Comparisons

How all states approach school choice policies.


Policy Reports

Relevant context and state policy examples on school choice issues.

Blog Posts

Legislative trends and other news with implications for school choice.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, school choice policies have remained prominent in state policy conversations. A supreme court ruling, the expenditure of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and a significant increase in school choice legislation have amplified the private school choice debate in some states.

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Carson v. Makin last month continued to clarify the public’s understanding of when, and under which circumstances, state dollars may be used to fund education at religious institutions.

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What is the proper relationship between church and state? How does this relationship apply to and impact public goods, such as education? And what would something as mundane as recycled tire playground surfacing have to do with any of this?

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The Arts Education Partnership recently embarked on new work exploring the intersection of arts education and school choice, and what better time than National School Choice Week to provide an update on this work?

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On June 30, 2020, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue continued a line of prominent rulings with important implications for education policy, school choice, and the separation of church and state.

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State Information Requests

Brief issue scans, typically provided within 48 hours, that provide top-level information on school choice.

Private School Choice Trends
State Policy Approaches to Education Savings Accounts
Changes to School Choice Policy As a Result of COVID-19
School Choice Programs for Native American Students
School Choice Court Cases

Searching for something different?

View all available school choice resources:

Explore our State Education Policy Tracking resource:

Browse pending legislation on our State Education Policy Watchlist: