Survey Says–Military Families Favor Education Savings Accounts

Military families have greater challenges than most when it comes to finding the best K12 education for their kids. And active duty families favor school choice overwhelmingly--75%.

“We got orders and we’re moving this summer.”

These can be some of the most challenging words a military member can utter to a family. Reactions can range from, “Not again, we just got here!” to “Great news, I hate this place.” Of course, these reactions depend on whether they come from a spouse or several of the kids. Relocating to an unfamiliar location can be a daunting challenge and choosing a place to live is one of the greatest challenges.

The Friedman Foundation has just published a comprehensive survey of military families and its objective was to gain a better understanding of the views of military families toward K12 education.  The report notes that “The Pentagon made policy changes in 2016 enabling some families to remain at duty stations for longer time periods—a direct response ‘to complaints by military parents who are loathe to move if the next duty station has poorly performing schools.'”.

The survey also noted that the military family sacrifices to get the best education for their kids. This includes renting/purchasing a home they cannot afford, spouses remaining at a current duty location while the kids finish high school, and spouses remaining at a current location so their kids can finish the school year. Sacrifice. That’s what military families do.

Here is one of the main conclusions from the Friedman survey:

“The average military household is overwhelmingly supportive of Education Savings Accounts [ESAs] and other educational choice mechanisms. They clearly support ESAs, even more than the general public based on EdChoice’s annual national survey. The margins of support for ESAs, school vouchers, and tax-credit scholarships are very large. What does that mean for policymakers? The United States Congress could be in a prime position to reform decades-old educational policies that grew out of World War II and the Cold War in a way that promotes personalization and puts families in control of their students’ educational options.”.

Who would deny a military family the right to choose the best education fit for their children? No one should. So let’s support Education Savings Accounts for military children–it’s the least we can do.

Read the entire survey of military families and education choices here.