(1) IN GENERAL.—The State shall distribute funds received under this title among the local educational agencies in the State based on the number of eligible children enrolled in the public schools operated by each local educational agency and the number of eligible children within each local educational agency's geographical area whose parents elect to send their child to a private school or to home-school their child.
(2) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that States should distribute non-Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in a manner that promotes competition and choices in education.
How has so called school choice worked? We have evidence. At the New York Review of Books, there is a review written by Diane Ravitch of two books that analyze school privatization, what choice really is, in detail.
Samuel Abrams' book called Education and the Commercial Mindset covers school privatization both here and abroad. He demonstrates how so called school choice failed in the USA regionally and on a grand scale how it flunked in Sweden and Chile.
From Diane's review:
Abrams reviews the experience of Sweden and Chile, which embraced school privatization under conservative leadership. In both countries school performance declined, and segregation by race, class, religion, and income grew. The result of school choice was not increased school quality but increased social inequity.
Ravitch also looked at a book by Mercedes Schneider, a Louisiana teacher-researcher-blogger who we frequently go to for in depth analysis on public schools.
Whenever a charter school fails because of a financial scandal, she proposes, the school should lose its charter and be restored to the local school district. If the charter fails to meet its academic promises, or if it is found to have selected a student population that was not typical for its neighborhood, it should get one more chance, then lose its charter and be returned to the local school board if it fails again. One do-over only.
At present, proponents of school choice have the upper hand because they are backed by some of the nation’s richest people, whose campaign donations give them an outsize voice in shaping public policy. The issue that the American public must resolve in local and state as well as national elections is whether voters will preserve and protect the public school system, or allow it to be raided and controlled by the one percent and financial elites.
As these two fine books demonstrate, there is no evidence for the superiority of privatization in education. Privatization divides communities and diminishes commitment to that which we call the common good. When there is a public school system, citizens are obligated to pay taxes to support the education of all children in the community, even if they have no children in the schools themselves. We invest in public education because it is an investment in the future of society.
There is not much proof that charters or vouchers work but the deep pocketed supporters will fund them anyway. Maybe there will be some irony in the age of Trump if people are mobilized to oppose HR 610 and actually save public education in the USA.