Too many of Kentucky’s schools have become hotbeds for assault and bullying. In Jefferson County, violence against students and staff have become part of a “normal” school day. But most parents who have children trapped in these schools have no other options but to keep sending their children into these toxic environments daily.
We know parents need choices when it comes to schools not meeting their children’s needs. But what if those needs are as basic as safety from bodily harm? Child Safety Accounts, as proposed here by Bluegrass Institute Visiting Scholar Dr. Vicki Alger and Heartland Policy Analyst Timothy Benson, could be a way to give every child an opportunity for an education in a safe place where they aren’t worried every hour about potentially being harmed.
According to the report:
Alger and Benson recommend a new policy to protect students whose safety is compromised. A Child Safety Account (CSA) program would empower parents to determine when their child’s school is too dangerous and transfer them to a safe school immediately. A type of Educational Safety Account (ESA) specifically dedicated to student safety would remove the cost barrier for parents who cannot afford other options, says Alger.
CSAs could be another tool in the school choice kit – which Kentucky law has yet to embrace – to help turn around the violence plaguing Jefferson County Public Schools.