The American Enterprise Institute released a report last week that details the benefits of consumer choice in education. The report’s key findings are as follows:
- Despite overall declines in college enrollment, various accredited and unaccredited providers of postsecondary education delivery are thriving. Their success is driven by the economics of the internet and a market structure that allows students to choose and pay for them.
- Since students at public K–12 schools pay nothing out of pocket, there is little incentive to search for cheaper alternatives and therefore little market for better alternatives.
- One possibility to help solve this problem is intraschool choice (ISC). ISC is similar to a cafeteria-style employee benefit plan in which individual employees allocate a predetermined amount of money to their preferred benefits from a catalog of approved choices.
- For ISC to deliver on its promise, it must ensure quality choices are present, establish accountability, start with those poorly served, and make sure schools are proactive in determining the range of choices available.