SCHOOL CHOICE MARKET CONTINUES TO EXPAND
"The most callused aspect of the current education monopoly in Arkansas is that it willingly and deliberately forces children--except those whose parents have wealth--to attend bad schools.” Policy Foundation report,1 September 1998
(June 2016) Records show the Arkansas school choice market continues to expand, growing expanded from an estimated 66,627 K-12 students in 20132 to 70,533 in 2015. The niche market includes students participating in public school choice programs, and homeschooled, private and charter students.
The School Choice Market in Arkansas
School choice has advanced since Foundation analysts Allyson Tucker and Donna Watson wrote their 1996 study recommending charters and Murphy Commission studies advanced other options in three 1998 education studies.
Segments of the Arkansas school choice market include the following groups:
· Charter school students 19,1793
· Public school choice students 13,9094
· Homeschooled students 17,9045
· Private school students 19,5416
Total (2015) 70,533
1 “Arkansas' Public Schools: A Thirty Year $20 Billion Taxpayer Investment Yields An Unprecedented Crisis in Academic Performance.” The study is dedicated to the late Karen L. Henry (1951-1998), who was a Policy Foundation board member.
2 "Arkansas School Choice Market Expands" (Policy Foundation research memo) February 2014
3 National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
4 The three percent (3%) cap established by the Public School Choice Act of 2015 limits expansion of this market component. http://www.apscn.org/sis/hdr/PublicSchoolChoiceActOf2015.pdf
5 Arkansas Department of Education Home School Report, 2014-15
6 ANSAA Directory 2013-14, http://www.ansaa.com/memberschools.htm