4. The School Choice Debate

The proposition that parents have the primary right and responsibility to direct the educational development of their children may seem unassailable. However, the issue of school choice has created deep divisions among parents, policy makers, educators, and groups representing government school employees.

The existence of these deep divisions makes it imperative that participants in the debate over education reform understand who is for, against, or indifferent toward school choice. The purpose of this section is to identify those individuals, groups, and organizations who will figure prominently in any statewide school choice debate as proponents, opponents, or spectators.

In all three major groups below, it must be noted that none of the constituent subgroups is monolithic. For example, even though most parents support school choice, some of them oppose making it easier for parents to choose a different school. Some subgroups, such as teachers and politicians, appear in more than one major category because significant portions of those groups are on different sides of the school choice issue.