Mountain States Policy Center sets its eyes on new summit: school choice

The Mountain States Policy Center (MSPC) is ringing in the new year by launching a new education choice initiative.

“Education choice is the belief that you know what’s best for your child, not government bureaucrats,” reads MSPC’s website.

The Idaho-based institute’s mission is to “empower those in the Mountain States to succeed through non-partisan, quality research that promotes free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government.”

The new initiative includes several minute-long videos debunking common school choice myths, such as the ideas that school choice harms public schools, rural schools or is anti-public education.  

“This is not about shutting down public schools,” writes Chris Cargill, co-founder, president and CEO of MSPC. “When families have more choices, the outcomes for our children improve.”  

The initiative also dedicates a webpage to explaining the various forms of school choice – such as charter schools, Education Savings Accounts, tuition tax credit scholarships and vouchers.  

But school choice and public education are not mutually exclusive. 

“When families move from one district to another based on the quality of schools, they are exercising a form of education choice,” the website says. “Unfortunately, not all families can afford this option.” 

Cargill explains education choice can even improve public schools by giving parents “more resources to get their child extra tutoring or assistance outside the classroom. This can take some of the burden off your public school.” 

The policy center also offers data demonstrating the benefit of school choice for the entire education system.  

“The vast majority of credible evidence shows education choice programs save taxpayers money, allow for more diverse schools, and improve academic outcomes for those participating and those who choose to stay in their local schools.” 

MSPC’s initiative comes at a significant time as many Northwestern states lack any sort of school choice program, despite national support for the growing movement.