Education is a top priority to millions of American families, and parents should be empowered to choose a safe and effective education for their children. To serve that goal, The Heritage Foundation has published the Education Freedom Report Card, to serve as a guide for assessing education freedom in each state.
Our report card measures four broad categories (School Choice, Transparency, Regulatory Freedom, and Spending) that encompass more than two dozen discrete factors.
In this inaugural 2022 edition of the Education Freedom Report Card, Florida is the top-ranked state across the board. Families looking for a state that embraces education freedom, respects parents’ rights, and provides a decent ROI for taxpayers should look no further than The Sunshine State.
In second place overall this year in our report card is Arizona, a state that will certainly give Florida a run for its money next year in light of its recently expanded, now-universal ESA program. Idaho takes third place overall, thanks in large part to a strong ROI for taxpayer dollars and high levels of transparency to parents.
At the other end of the spectrum, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia came in 49th, 50th, and 51st, respectively, doing little to provide transparency, accountability, and choice to families. This report card sets a high bar for achieving and maintaining education freedom in the states. Our goal is that this annual ranking of states will not only inform parents and policymakers of what their states do well and where they need improvement, but that it will spur necessary and lasting reform.
Note: The report card was first published September 9, 2022, assessing all state education laws as currently written. It will be regularly updated as states make reforms and changes to those laws.