Press Release

ALEC Releases 50-State Education Freedom Rankings

The new report evaluates current state policies that empower parents with choice in education.

Arlington, Va. – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is proud to announce today’s release of The ALEC Index of State Education Freedom: A 50-State Guide to Parental Empowerment. Evaluating each state on essential policies that maximize parental empowerment, education freedom, and student achievement, the release coincides with the historic education freedom movement of 2023, with eight states passing universal school choice policies this year alone.

“Parents across the country have made their voices clear: the status quo in American education isn’t working, and they are demanding access to more educational options for their students,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. “Whether a public school, virtual school, charter school, home school, or some other educational environment, states are leading the way by making all of these a possibility for families to choose from.”

The ALEC Index of Education Freedom focuses on five categories of state education policy: funding and financing programs, charter schools, homeschooling, virtual schooling, and open enrollment.

Top 5 States for Education Freedom Bottom 5 States for Education Freedom
1.       Florida      46.    North Dakota
2.       Arkansas      47.    Vermont
3.       Indiana      48.    New York
4.       Arizona      49.    Rhode Island
5.       Iowa      50.    Massachusetts

Click here to read the full report. 

“These new rankings focus on state-level policies that maximize educational opportunity for all students,” said report author Andrew Handel, director of the ALEC Task Force on Education and Workforce Development. “States are increasingly recognizing that each student has his or her own unique needs, background, and learning style.”

Previously, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published the Report Card on American Education, ranking the states based on a variety of performance indicators in K-12 education. The newly reimagined ALEC Index of State Education Freedom is forward-looking and focuses exclusively on the policies each state has in place to ensure their students can access the best educational environment for them. Scores are based on state policies in place as of June 1, 2023.

“The only way to ensure that all students are put in the best position to succeed is to offer a variety of educational environments. Parents, not bureaucrats, should be in charge of their students’ education,” Handel concluded.

For 50 years, ALEC members have developed trusted policy solutions in education freedom. Those solutions include model policies such as The Hope Scholarship Act, Next Generation Charter School Act, Protecting Religious Homeschooling Act, The Virtual Public Schools Act, and the Open Enrollment Act. The complete model policy library for the ALEC Task Force on Education and Workforce Development can be accessed here.

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