Corey DeAngelis is correct that the 2022 midterm elections were a victory for school choice. (“The School-Choice Election Wave,” op-ed, Nov. 11). Indeed, he understates how big the victory was.
Opponents of school choice have long claimed that voters would punish lawmakers who pass legislation that give families more choices in education. Such policies supposedly endanger traditional district schools to which voters feel a strong attachment. The midterms demolished this hypothesis. Every state in which a GOP trifecta—governor and legislative chambers—enacted large, new school-choice programs or significantly expanded existing ones in the past two years kept that trifecta, and most expanded the GOP’s majority in the legislature.
The one exception is Arizona, where a Democrat narrowly won an open governor’s seat in a race that was primarily about other issues (election integrity, abortion, the border). Nevertheless, it appears the GOP kept its margins in the state legislature—even after primary voters replaced the only three Republican legislators who had opposed school choice with choice proponents.
In Pennsylvania, a majority of Democrats joined all legislative Republicans in enacting the largest expansion of the Keystone State’s school-choice policy in state history. The bill was signed by a Democratic governor, who has now been replaced by another Democrat, Josh Shapiro, who has publicly endorsed school choice.
The message of the 2022 midterms for lawmakers interested in expanding school choice: Be not afraid.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on 11/15/2022