Originally published on January 28, 2021 on ReasonFoundation.org.
Many American families have few options outside of their residentially assigned schools, but it doesn’t have to be this way. One way policymakers can put parents in the driver’s seat is through a form of public school choice that everyone can get on board with — inter-district school choice, which allows families to enroll in schools across district boundaries.
In the 21st century, it no longer makes sense to confine educational opportunities to rigid and often arbitrary district boundaries. Policymakers should put families in the driver’s seat by reducing or even eliminating the role of district boundaries in determining school assignments. Open enrollment can provide substantial benefits to families, but more must be done to ensure that all students have opportunities outside of their zip code.