Applications For School Choice Scholarships Skyrocketed In 2023-2024 Academic Year, Nonprofit Says

A Colorado-based nonprofit offering school choice scholarships to lower-income K-12 families saw a surge in applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

ACE Scholarships, a school choice nonprofit that offers scholarships to K-12 students, announced a record 14,090 scholarships awarded to K-12 children across the U.S. in the 2023-2024 school year. The number of scholarship applications ACE has received almost tripled over the last three years, growing from 12,311 applications in the 2021-2022 school year to 32,113 applications during the current school year, as America’s schools public schools continue to reel from failing test scores and learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The results have been undeniable. ACE stands up for the safety of children that are being oppressed and for parents who do not have the same income levels as those who are wealthier and really leveled the playing field. Our desire today is to make sure that every child has access to an outstanding education,” ACE President Norton Rainey told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

ACE has provided over 80,000 scholarships to low-income families in 12 states since 2000, according to the nonprofit.

American students have fallen behind due to learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. students fell 13-points in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math scores and are now lagging behind other industrialized students. Nearly 70% of students in the U.S. attended schools experiencing chronic absenteeism.

Support for school choice is on the rise around the U.S.

At least 71% of registered voters said they support school choice programs in a July 2023, 7% higher before than in 2020. Several states are looking to propose school choice legislation in 2024, including in Tennessee and Texas.

“It’s really wonderful for our country as the last United States to remain more competitive than other countries in the future,” Rainey told the DCNF.

“Choice is important in our country and frankly, it’s probably the most important issue because without education, our country can’t thrive,” Rainey continued.

Brandon Poulter on January 30, 2024

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