Jonathan Butcher is the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. He has researched and testified on education policy and school choice programs around the U.S. Jonathan co-edited and wrote chapters in the book The Not-So-Great Society, which provides conservative solutions to the problems created by the ever-expanding federal footprint in preschool, K-12, and higher education.
His work has appeared in journals such as Education Next and the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, and in 2018 the Federal Commission on School Safety cited his comments in the commission’s final report. He has appeared on local and national TV outlets, including C-SPAN, Fox News, and HBO’s Vice News Tonight, and he has been a guest on many radio programs. His commentary has appeared nationally in places such as the Wall Street Journal, Education Week, National Review Online, Newsweek.com, and Forbes.com, along with newspapers around the country.
In 2017 he was a co-recipient of the State Policy Network’s Bob Williams Award for Most Influential Research for a proposal to protect free speech on campus, alongside Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Jim Manley of the Goldwater Institute.
Jonathan previously served as the education director at the Goldwater Institute, where he remains a senior fellow. He was a member of the Arizona Department of Education’s first Steering Committee for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, the nation’s first education savings account program. He is also a Senior Fellow with The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a nonpartisan research organization, and a contributing scholar for the Georgia Center for Opportunity.
Prior to joining Goldwater, Jonathan was the director of accountability for the South Carolina Public Charter School District, a statewide charter school authorizer in South Carolina. Jonathan previously studied education policy at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and worked with the School Choice Demonstration Project, the research team that evaluated voucher programs in Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee, Wisc.
Jonathan holds a B.A. in English from Furman University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Arkansas.