Know Your State System | Noah Webster Educational Foundation

Know Your State System

Alabama

Alabama has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 9 members elected to 4-year terms.
First: 1819
Article or Title: Article XIV: Sections 256-270
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 263
Statutes or Code: Title 16: Chapters 1-67
State Superintendent: Eric Mackey
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd: State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 9 Members; Elected; 4-year term
School StatsAccording to AL.com, there are approximately 724,178 children enrolled in Alabama's public schools as of 2020. Alabama also enacted public charter school legislation in 2015 that currently serves around 1,200 students. Private and homeschool numbers are not tracked, but approximately 4,000 students took advantage of Alabama's tax-credit school choice program in the state's private schools last year.

 

Reference: 

https://www.al.com/news/2020/02/alabama-k-12-enrollment-up-cities-have-more-counties-have-fewer.html?fbclid=IwAR2xgrGpnyYYGpNAzW-L6bQPUWchcfU254qyO9U6vNaUfp_-b7Ec6JdoHfA

 

Resources

Alaska

Alaska has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 5-year terms.
First: 1959
Article or Title: Article VII: Sections 1-5
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 1
Statutes or Code: Title 14: Chapters 3-60
State Commissioner: Dr. Michael Johnson
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 5-year term
School StatsThe Alaska Department of Education reports that 130,394 students enrolled in the public school system for the 2020-2021 academic year. Anchorage had the highest concentration of students, with an attendance of 41,902. Other school options in Alaska include charter and correspondence schools. There is no limit to the number of charter schools allowed in the state.
     Alaska’s population is composed of roughly 15% Native Alaskan villagers (also called Inuit), whose children largely attend Alaskan public schools. Other demographics include Caucasian, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Alaskans of mixed ethnic background, making Alaska a culturally rich area in spite of its relatively small population of under a million people.

 

Reference:

https://education.alaska.gov/data-center?fbclid=IwAR0WSarShv_Ke8h_FvKJnmgtBVrTjldR32BSwIiyXo3ai2R2Ef-1i8VHxCk

Resources

Arizona

Arizona has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 11 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1912
Article or Title: Article 11: Sections 1-11
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 8
Statutes or Code: Title 15: Chapters 1-19
State Superintendent: Kathy Hoffman
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities:  DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School StatsAccording to Arizona School Report Cards, there are 732 public school districts in the state. Of these, 228 are traditional, 457 are charter, and 47 are other school organizations like college prep schools, accelerated schools, and art or science academies. There are exactly 2,485 public schools in Arizona. They are broken down into 1,563 district schools, 596 charter schools, 278 career and technical education district schools (CTED), and 48 other specialized public schools.
     Arizona has over 1,151,000 students enrolled in public K-12 schools. Of those students, 930,000 attend district public schools, and the remaining 221,000 attend public charter schools.

 

Reference:

https://azreportcards.azed.gov

Resources

Arkansas

Arkansas has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Secretary. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 7-year terms.
First: 1836
Article or Title: Article 14: Sections 1-4
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 6: Subtitles 1-6
State Secretary: Johnny Key
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Secretary
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 7-year term
School StatsThe Arkansas Department of Education Data Center reports there are 1,041 K-12 public schools in the state. Arkansas has 262 school districts, 24 open-enrollment charter school districts, and 15 education service co-operatives. Within these districts, there are 519 elementary schools, 216 middle/junior high schools, and 306 high schools. In the 2020-2021 school year, Arkansas had 33,507 certified teachers, 473,004 K-12 enrolled students, and approximately 33,021 high school graduates.
     Outside of the public school system, Arkansas has around 27,000 private school students and 20,000 homeschoolers.

 

Reference:

https://adedata.arkansas.gov/ARK12

Resources

California

California has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 11 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1849
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-16
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 8
Statutes or Code: EDC: Titles 1-3
State Superintendent: Superintendent Tony Thurmond
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School StatsAccording to Ed Data, there were 6,163,001 students enrolled in the California public school system as of 2020.
     California has 1,035 school districts that cover a variety of school types. These include County Offices of Education (COEs), elementary school districts, high school districts, State Board of Education Charters, state special schools, a statewide benefit charter, and unified school districts.
     In 2020, California had 2,695 private schools attended by 449,815 students.

 

Reference:

https://www.ed-data.org/state/CA

Resources

Colorado

Colorado has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner. The State Board consists of 7 members elected to 6-year terms.
First: 1876
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-17
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 7
Statutes or Code: Title 22: Articles 1-98
State Commissioner: Commissioner Katy Anthes, Ph.D
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner
State Board Members: 7 Members; Elected; 6-year term
School ChoiceThe Colorado Department of Education records 883,199 public school students enrolled for the 2020-2021 academic year. Those students attend one of the 178 districts in the state, most of which are considered rural. In fact, 88 districts have fewer than 500 students. There are approximately 1,914 public schools in the state.
     Many families choose alternative school options in Colorado. With 45 districts in the state allowing charter schools, Colorado boasts 260 charter schools with 126,947 students. The state also has 106 innovation schools that serve 49,621 students and 49 online schools with 21,863 students. In 2020, Colorado had 451 private schools with 51,271 students.

 

Reference:

https://www.cde.state.co.us/.../coeducationfactsandfigures

Resources

Connecticut

Connecticut has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner. The State Board consists of 14 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1818
Article or Title: Article 8: Sections 1-4
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 10: Chapters 163-184c
State Commissioner: Charlene Russell-Tucker
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd: State Board; State Commissioner
State Board Members: 14 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School StatsEdSight reports that for the 2020-2021 academic year, there were 205 school districts in Connecticut. Last year, 513,079 students enrolled in the state’s 1,517 public schools. As for performance, Connecticut has an 88.8% four-year cohort graduation rate. (The national average cohort graduation rate was 85% as of 2018.)
     There are approximately 50,540 students enrolled in Connecticut’s many nonpublic school options.

 

Reference:

http://edsight.ct.gov/SASPortal/main.do

Resources

Delaware

Delaware has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Secretary. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 6-year terms.
First: 1897
Article or Title: Article 10: Sections 1-6
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: Title 14: Chapters 1-94
State Secretary: Dr. Mark Holodick
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Secretary
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 6-year term
School ChoiceThe Delaware Department of Education reports that in 2020 there were approximately 138,414 K-12 students enrolled in the public school system—including state, district, and charter schools. The state's graduation rate is 87.7%.
     Delaware parents can use a standard application form to enroll their child in any school district, charter school, magnet school, or vocational-technical school (restricted by county), as long as their child is registered in their school of residence. There are also over 2,853 nonpublic schools in the state. Of those, 101 are private schools, and 2,752 are homeschools. These schools serve 15,829 private school students and 4,950 homeschool students.

 

Reference:

https://www.doe.k12.de.us/Domain/39

Resources

District Of Columbia

District of Columbia has a Chancellor, a Board of Education, and an Executive Director. The Board has 9 members elected to 4-year terms.
Chancellor: Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee
Executive Director: John-Paul C. Hayworth
State or Local Control: District
Education Authorities: Board of Ed; Executive Director
State Board Members: 9 Members; Elected; 4-year term
School ChoiceWhile Washington, D.C. isn’t a state, its governing educational body is still referred to as a “state board of education.” According to the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), there were 49,890 students enrolled for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students can choose from a wide variety of programs in DCPS to enhance their learning experience, including dual language programs, career academics, advanced placement (AP) courses, study abroad programs, and internships. In the 117 schools in DC, there are 114 principals, 181 assistant principals, and 4,210 teachers. 
     For other school options, families may choose to use My School DC, which partners with DCPS and serves as a common public school lottery for children to be enrolled in DCPS or one of DC’s charter schools. For every student’s application with My School DC, a family lists the order of schools that they want their child to attend, and the lottery will randomly place the child in an available participating school. 

 

Reference:

https://sboe.dc.gov/page/what-are-my-school-options

Resources

Florida

Florida has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 4-year terms.
 
First: 1838
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-8
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 6
Statutes or Code: Title XLVII: Chapters 1000-1013
State Commissioner: Richard Corcoran
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Florida Department of Education recorded 2,791,687 pre-K-12 students enrolled in public education for the 2020-2021 school year. These students attended one of the state’s 3,655 public schools, which includes both traditional and charter schools. Florida has 604 charter schools and 3,051 traditional public schools. The state also has 162 special education schools, 384 alternative schools, 49 career and technical education schools, and 592 magnet schools. Additionally, Florida has the largest state online school in the nation, Florida Virtual School.
     Families can fill out a survey with the Florida Department of Education to see if they qualify for one of the state’s six scholarship programs. Along with the many public school options, families may select to enroll their children in one of the state’s 2,739 private schools. This past year, Florida had 364,420 students enrolled in private education. Homeschooling has also been on the rise, with 143,431 students enrolled.

Resources

Georgia

Georgia has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 14 members appointed to 7-year terms.
First: 1777
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections I-VII
Blaine Amendment Language: Section VI
Statutes or Code: Title 20: Chapters 1-18
State Superintendent: Superintendent Richard Woods
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd: State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 14 Members; Appointed; 7-year term
School ChoiceThe Georgia Department of Education reports that in 2021, there are 2,306 public schools in the state. Of those, 14 are K-12, 1,328 are elementary schools, 480 are middle schools, and 484 are high schools. There are 1,723,127 students enrolled in Georgia public schools with a graduation rate of 83.8% as of 2020. 
     There are 115 state or locally-authorized charter schools in Georgia with 84,291 students enrolled. Separate from these individual schools, Georgia also has entire charter school systems, which are public school districts that have converted their schools into charter schools through a contract with the local district and the State Board of Education. This approach gives the schools more flexibility to be locally governed and held accountable. The state has 32 charter school systems with a total of 326 schools. 
     Georgia also has 853 private schools (with 153,859 students enrolled); finally, the state runs the Georgia Virtual School program, an online option that parents may wish to consider as a supplement to public, private, or homeschool education.  

 

References:

https://www.gadoe.org/Pages/Home.aspx 

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/georgia

Resources

Hawaii

Hawaii has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 11 members appointed to 3-year terms.
First:1959
Article or Title: Article X: Sections 1-6
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 1
Statutes or Code: Title 18: Chapters 296-319
State Superintendent: Superintendent Keith Hayashi
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd: State Board: State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 3-year term
School ChoiceHawaii is the only state to have just one public school district! Hawaii’s single school district covers 257 public schools and 37 charter schools with about 180,000 students total. There are almost 22,000 full-time school staff members and close to 13,000 teachers serving these schools. 
     Students in Hawaii attend the school closest to their home, within the district boundaries. However, students may request a geographic exception if they need to attend a school outside of their district. Hawaii has 18 licensed private trade, vocational, or technical schools. Additionally, there are 136 private schools, most of which have a religious affiliation, totaling 40,360 students.
     Close to 100,000 military service members and their families live in Hawaii either temporarily or long-term. As a result, almost 11% of Hawaii’s students are from military families. With the unique challenges that military families face, the Hawaii Department of Education works with those families to make the transition process into the state’s public school system easier on kids. 

 

References:

https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/Pages/Home.aspx 

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/hawaii

Resources

Idaho

Idaho has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 5-year terms.
First: 1890
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-11
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 5
Statutes or Code: Title 33: Chapters 1-61
State Superintendent: Superintendent Sherri Ybarra
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 5-year term
School ChoiceThe Idaho State Department of Education reports that in 2020, there were 304,557 students enrolled in the 714 public schools in the state. Over 85% of the high school seniors in 2020 took part in advanced opportunities or obtained industry certifications. Nine out of ten teachers that taught in the 2018-2019 academic year continued teaching the following year.
     Idaho recognizes that families need school options to find what works best for their children. These include alternative schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, and homeschools. Almost 7,228 at-risk students utilize one of the 59 alternative schools designed to help them succeed. As for charter schools, 21,872 students are enrolled in one of the state’s 49 charter schools, which families may apply to attend. There are also 24 magnet schools in Idaho serving 1,338 students. Idaho has 119 private schools, which are not regulated by the state’s Department of Education. Homeschooling is another education option not regulated by the state.

 

References:

https://idahoschools.org

https://www.sde.idaho.gov/school-choice/

Resources

Illinois

Illinois has a State Board of Education and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1818
Article or Title: Article X: Sections 1-3
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: Chapter 105: Articles 1-36
State Superintendent: Superintendent Dr. Carmen I. Ayala
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: State Board of Ed; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Illinois Report Card shares that in 2020, Illinois had 852 school districts and 3,859 public schools. There are 1,957,018 students enrolled with 130,389 teachers. The graduation rate is 88%.
     There are 137 charter schools in the state with 62,497 students enrolled. Of the charter schools, 122 are in Chicago. In the Chicago Public School district, more than half of students in the district chose a school outside of their district zone.
     For other school options, Illinois has 1,660 private schools with 268,364 students enrolled. About 56% of them are religiously affiliated. As for homeschooling, Illinois does not have an official registration process. However, the state requires homeschool students to take certain courses.

 

References: 

https://www.isbe.net

https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/State.aspx 

https://www.incschools.org 

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/illinois

Resources

Indiana

Indiana has a State Board of Education and a Secretary of Education. The State Board consists of 11 members 4-year terms.
First: 1816
Article or Title: Article 8: Sections 1-8
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: Title 20: Articles 1-51
Secretary of Education: Dr. Katie Jenner
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: State Board of Ed; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Indiana Department of Education reports that there are 1,847 public schools in the state. These schools have 1,112,611 students enrolled and 79,120 educators. Indiana is a diverse state, with students that speak over 290 languages.
     Indiana has six main options for schooling: traditional public school, public charter school, public magnet school, online school, private school, homeschool, and learning pods. Indiana restricts families from attending traditional public schools of their choice, but there may be exceptions due to special requests. For homeschooling, families are not required to notify the state. However, if they are withdrawing their children from another school, they should follow the school’s normal procedure.

 

References: 

https://www.greatschools.org/indiana/ 

https://inview.doe.in.gov/state/1088000000/population 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-indiana/

 

Resources

Iowa

Iowa has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Director of Education. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 6-year terms.
First: 1857
Article or Title: Article IX: 1st Sections 1-15; 2nd Sections 1-7
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title VII: Chapters 256-305B
State Director of Education: Dr. Ann Lebo
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Director of Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 6-year term
School ChoiceAs of 2020, the Iowa Department of Education reported having 327 public school districts with 490,094 students enrolled. The state has 1,310 school buildings with 37,567 teachers. The graduation rate is 91.6%.
     Iowa’s public school system includes Area Education Agencies, which provide assistance and school improvement services to families in a specific region. There are nine total agencies in the state, which help both private schools and public schools. Iowa’s public education system also has community colleges with a variety of courses available to students of all ages.
     Iowa has 243 private schools with 46,500 students enrolled. About 84% of them are religiously affiliated, the majority being Roman Catholic or Christian. As for homeschooling, Iowa offers a few educational options, such as homeschooling with a certified teacher, private instruction, part-time homeschooling with part-time school district attendance, and attendance at a non-accredited school.

 

References: 

https://educateiowa.gov/about-iowas-education-system 

https://www.privateschoolreview.com/iowa

Resources

Kansas

Kansas has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 10 members elected to 4-year terms.
First: 1855
Article or Title: Article 6: Sections 1-7;
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 6(c)
Statutes or Code: Chapter 72: Articles 1-99
State Commissioner: Randy Watson
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 10 Members; Elected; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Kansas State Department of Education reports there are 476,435 students enrolled in the state’s public schools. There are 1,334 public school districts and 10 charter schools (which also count as a public school option). As for other schools of choice, there are 821 private schools of various types in Kansas, with homeschooling counted as a non-accredited private school.

 

References: 

https://www.ksde.org 

https://www.greatschools.org/kansas/

Resources

Kentucky

Kentucky has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 14 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1792
Article or Title: Sections 183-189
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 189
Statutes or Code: Title XIII: Chapters 156-170
State Commissioner: Jason E. Glass
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 14 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceAccording to the Kentucky Department of Education, the state has 171 school districts with 1,477 public schools. There are 647,987 public school students with 42,304 teachers. The graduation rate is 91.1%.
     In 2017, charter schools became legal in Kentucky, but there are currently no schools open as funding has not yet been approved. However, there are more than 360 private schools to choose from. Magnet schools, online schools, learning pods, and homeschooling are other school options for Kentucky families. Families who choose to homeschool must report some basic information like names and ages of students, but they are not required to provide anything else to the state.
     There are 857 local school board seats in Kentucky. Most districts have five elected members per board. Parents are highly involved in the state, with 2,474 of them serving on SBDM (school-based decision-making) councils.

 

References:

https://education.ky.gov/comm/edfacts/Pages/default.aspx 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-kentucky/

Resources

Louisiana

Louisiana has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Education. The State Board consists of 11 members, with 3 members appointed and 8 members elected. All members serve 4-year terms.
First: 1812
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-16
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 17: 17.1 – 17.5122
State Superintendent: Cade Brumley
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Education
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed & Elected; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Louisiana Department of Education reports there are 1,303 public schools within 70 districts in the state. Louisiana ranked number one in the nation in 2019 for improved math scores and proficiency rates in 8th-grade. The state’s rate of improvement in scores since 2009 far exceeds the national average, with an increase in the percentage of students earning exemplary scores since implementing new standards-aligned tests.
     For other school options, Louisiana has 140 special-focus charter schools. While enrollment is free, a lottery decides attendance if more families enroll than there are seats available in the charter school. Louisiana offers a few different scholarship and voucher programs that enable parents to select a school of their choice, including private school and homeschooling. The state has over 400 private schools available with a faith-based or special curriculum. As for homeschooling, families have to notify the state of their homeschool status by October 1 each year. Other school options in Louisiana include magnet schools, online schools, and learning pods.

 

References:

https://www.louisianabelieves.com 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-louisiana/

Resources

Maine

Maine has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 5-year terms.
First: 1820
Article or Title: Article VIII. Part First: Sections 1-2
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 20: Parts 1-6
State Commissioner: Pender Makin
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 5-year term
School ChoiceAccording to the Maine Policy Institute, there are 172,636 students enrolled in Maine’s 595 public schools. These include charter schools and career and technical (CTE) schools. Children can attend schools outside of the district they live in, as long as they receive approval from the school board and their parents. 
     Maine also has a town-tuitioning program, meaning that families who live in certain (mostly rural) areas can select any kind of school they wish to attend under certain conditions. They may choose from public or private options. Then, public education funding follows the children to their chosen schools. Maine’s town-tuitioning program began in 1873, and it is the second oldest in the nation, following Vermont.

 

Reference:

https://mainepolicy.org/project/school-choice-map/

Resources

Maryland

Maryland has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Schools. The State Board consists of 12 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-3
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Sections 1-26
State Superintendent: Mohammed Choudhury
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Schools
State Board Members: 12 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceMaryland has over 1,400 public schools in 24 school systems that serve the state’s 23 counties. There are 909,414 students enrolled, with the state reaching a new enrollment record in 2019-2020. The attendance rate is 93.5% with a graduation rate of 87.75%.
     While the state does not offer public open enrollment—meaning Maryland families are not allowed to attend public schools outside their district—the state does have over 40 charter schools and 30 magnet schools for families to choose from. Maryland also has more than 830 private schools. If they’re under a certain income level, families may use Maryland’s private school choice program, the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program. With this program, families receive state-run school scholarships to expand school choice. Other school options include online learning, learning pods, or homeschooling. If families elect to homeschool, they are required to notify the state.

 

References:

https://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/Graphs/... 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-maryland/

 

Resources

Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 5-year terms.
First: 1780
Article or Title: Chapter V: Article I-III & Section II
Blaine Amendment Language: Section II
Statutes or Code: Part 1: Title XII: Chapters 69-78A
DoE Secretary: Secretary James Peyser
State Commissioner: Jeffrey C. Riley
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 5-year term
School ChoiceThe Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reports there are 911,529 students enrolled in public schools in the state, including charter schools. Over 75,000 teachers teach those students. There are 400 school districts with 1,840 public schools in the state.
     Some Massachusetts school districts participate in an open enrollment program, which allows families to attend public schools outside their district. With this option, families can find a school that better suits their unique needs. Families may also select one of the state’s charter or magnet schools (public schools with fewer government regulations that typically have a specific focus). Additionally, Massachusetts runs two public virtual schools and opened seven district-run online schools in 2021.
     Other school options include one of the 860 private schools in the state, homeschooling, and learning pods. If families do elect to homeschool, most school districts require families to notify them.

 

References:

https://www.doe.mass.edu/SchDistrictData.html

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice.../

Resources

Michigan

Michigan has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 8 members elected to 8-year terms.
First: 1835
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-9
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 2
Statutes or Code: Act 451-1976: Articles 1-4
State Superintendent: Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 8 Members; Elected; 8-year term
School ChoiceThe Michigan Department of Education reports there were 1,437,612 public school students enrolled for the 2020-21 academic year. Those students were served by 110,788 teachers. The attendance rate for grades K-12 in Michigan is 92.91%, and the 4-year graduation rate for high school seniors is 82.07%.
     In Michigan, individual school districts can elect to participate in school choice programs. In participating districts, families may attend the public school of their choice outside their home district. The district also determines the extent of their participation, such as what grades or programs allow for school choice. Other public school options in the state include charter and magnet schools. As for nonpublic options, families can choose from one of Michigan’s 900 private schools or elect to homeschool. Homeschooling families are not required to notify the state.

 

References:

https://www.mischooldata.org 

https://www.michigan.gov/.../0,4615,7-140-81351_81352... 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-michigan/

Resources

Minnesota

Minnesota has a Department of Education and a State Commissioner of Education. There is no State Board of education for K-12.
First: 1857
Article or Title: Article XIII: Sections 1-3
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 2
Statutes or Code: Chapters 120-137
State Commissioner: Dr. Heather Mueller
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Commissioner of Education
School choice: The Minnesota Department of Education reports that there are 2,097 public schools in the state with 893,875 K-12 students enrolled. There are 58,315 public school teachers in Minnesota, with an average of 15 years of experience statewide. Minnesotans also have the option of attending one of the state's 160 public charter schools, with 62,751 PreK-12 students enrolled. 
     Minnesota school districts use an open enrollment program, which means that families can apply to a traditional public school that's outside of their district. Since no two public schools are the same, this option enables families to find the best school for their children. Over 86,000 Minnesota students use this school choice option.
     For nonpublic school options, private schools and homeschooling are also available. Since private schools charge tuition, Minnesota parents may be eligible for certain tax deduction programs. The state has 458 nonpublic schools with 65,738 students enrolled. Additionally, there are 20,201 homeschooled children in the state.
 
References:

Resources

Mississippi

Mississippi has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 9 members appointed to 9-year terms.
First: 1817
Article or Title: Article 8: Sections 201-213B
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 208
Statutes or Code: Title 37: Chapters 1-181
State Superintendent: Dr. Carey M. Wright
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Public Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 9-year term
School ChoiceThe Mississippi Department of Education reports there are 442,122 students enrolled in the state, with 31,856 classroom teachers. There are 140 school districts. Public school enrollment has declined, with 25,489 children currently homeschooled. 
     Mississippi families have several types of schools to choose from. The state is home to traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, homeschool, learning pods, and online schools. Mississippi also offers some open enrollment policies for school districts, meaning that families may send their children to a public school outside their district of residence. However, individual school districts get to decide their own open enrollment policy. The state only requires that school districts have open enrollment for children who live 30 miles or more away from their district school. If families wish to send their children to private school, they will have to pay tuition, but the state offers some scholarship programs to children with special needs.
     Mississippi has made steady improvements in education in recent years. The graduation rate for 2021 was over 87%, higher than the national average of 86% in the same year. The dropout rate has declined in the past five years. In 2016, it was at 11.8%, and in 2021, it went down to 8.8%. Mississippi’s national ranking has improved, having risen from the low of #50 to #39 out of all states. Mississippi ranks first in the nation for most improvement in 4th-grade reading and math scores.
 
References:
 

Resources

Missouri

Missouri has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 8 members appointed to 8-year terms.
First: 1820
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-10
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 8
Statutes or Code: Chapters 160-186
State Commissioner: Dr. Margie Vandeven
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 8 Members; Appointed; 8-year term
School ChoiceThe Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reports there are 859,320 K-12 public school students enrolled in the state. The four-year graduation rate is 89.21%. Students in career-technical education graduate at a higher rate of 91.3%.
     Missouri offers restricted open enrollment for families, meaning students can go to another traditional public school outside their district. Other public school options (not included in open enrollment) include magnet and charter schools. Missouri’s new private school choice program created in 2021 will soon make other options more affordable for families. With this new program, families receive scholarship funding that allows them to attend the school of their choice. The program will prioritize low-income students and students with an Individualized Education Program, but public school students and students who are starting school for the first time are also eligible. Homeschooling is another Missouri option; homeschool families are not required to notify the state.
 
References:

Resources

Montana

Montana has an Office of Public Instruction, a Board of Public Education, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Board consists of 7 members appointed to 7-year terms.
First: 1889
Article or Title: Article X: Sections 1-11
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 6
Statutes or Code: Title 20: Chapters 1-32
State Superintendent: Elsie Arntzen
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: OPI; Board of Public Education; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 7 year term
School ChoiceFor the school year 2019-2020, the Montana Office of Public Instruction reports that there were 403 school districts and 826 public schools in the state. Montana has 149,181 public school students and 15,961 licensed K-12 staff and paraprofessionals.
     Montana is one of the few states without public charter schools, but it does have limited open enrollment policies—meaning children can attend a traditional public school outside of their assigned district. In Montana, school districts can set their own open enrollment policies, but schools are required to have open enrollment if the child lives too far away from the assigned school. 
     Montana also offers private schooling, with over 110 schools in the state. Private schools often offer religious education or focus on a special curriculum or teaching methodology. Montana’s first private school choice program, which began in 2015, offers scholarship funding to help families with private school tuition. As for other school options in the state, there’s homeschooling (parents are required to notify the state), online school, and learning pods.
 
References:

Resources

Nebraska

Nebraska has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 8 members elected to 4-year terms.
First: 1875
Article or Title: Article VII: Sections 1-17
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 11
Statutes or Code: Chapter 79: 101-2704
State Commissioner: Dr. Matthew L. Blomstedt
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 8 Members; Elected; 4 year term
School ChoiceAccording to the Nebraska Department of Education, there are 324,176 students and 23,985 teachers in the public school system. The state has a 93% attendance rate with a 1% dropout rate. The graduation rate is 88%. 
     As for school choice, Nebraska does not offer any private school choice programs, nor are there any charter schools in the state. However, Nebraska does have inter-district and intra-district open enrollment policies, meaning some families can attend public schools that are outside of their assigned district. The state also has some public magnet schools. Families may also choose to homeschool their children in Nebraska if they follow certain laws, such as notifying the state and teaching required subjects. 
 
References:

https://nep.education.ne.gov 

https://www.edchoice.org/school-choice/state/nebraska/

Resources

Nevada

Nevada has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 11 members with 4 being elected to 4 year terms and 7 appointed for 2 year terms.
First: 1864
Article or Title: Article 11: Sections 1-10
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 10
Statutes or Code: Title 34: Chapters 385-400
State Superintendent: Jhone Ebert
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 11 Members; 4 Elected / 7 Appointed; 4 year / 2 year term
School ChoiceThe Nevada Department of Education reports that 482,364 public school students were enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year. The state has 752 public schools with 27,308 teachers. The graduation rate is 82.57%. 
     School districts in Nevada can set their own open enrollment policies, allowing families to attend traditional public schools outside of their school district. If families choose a school that allows open enrollment, then their assigned school covers transportation. Other types of public schools in the state include charter and magnet schools. These school options may provide a specialized curriculum.
     Nonpublic education options in Nevada include private school, online school, and homeschooling. While private schools charge tuition, Nevada has a school choice program that allows families that are at or below 300% of the federal poverty line to apply for scholarship funding. Online learning is another way to meet the unique needs of families, such as if children need a quieter learning environment or a specific learning pace. Additionally, Nevada families may choose to homeschool their children, an option that is legal in all 50 states. If families do decide to homeschool, they must notify the state.
 
References:

http://nevadareportcard.nv.gov/DI/nv/2021 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-nevada/

Resources

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 5-year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Part Second: Article 6-b
Blaine Amendment Language: Article 83
Statutes or Code: Title XV: Chapters 186-200N
State Commissioner: Frank Edelblut
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 5 year term
School ChoiceAs stated by the New Hampshire Department of Education, 167,910 public school students are enrolled in the state. The dropout rate is 1.3%, and the four-year graduation rate is 86.6%. Zero students were expelled in the past two years.
     New Hampshire’s school districts can set their own open enrollment policies, which allow children to attend schools outside of their assigned district. In 2021, New Hampshire made this process more streamlined for families who are experiencing “manifest educational hardship.” Families may also elect to send their children to other types of public schools like magnet and charter schools, which typically have specialized learning methods.
     New Hampshire has a Town Tuitioning Program, which means that if your school does not offer classes for your child’s grade level, then the district will pay to send your child elsewhere. This program is not limited to public schools; it may also cover religious private schools. Private schools in New Hampshire are diverse, ranging from faith-based classes to special education assistance. While private schools charge tuition, the state offers various scholarship programs to help with funding. Other nonpublic school options include homeschooling, learning pods, and online school.

 

References:

https://dashboard.nh.gov/t/DOE/views/iReport-State/Profile?Select%2BYear=2021&%3Atabs=no&%3Aembed=y 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-new-hampshire/

Resources

New Jersey

New Jersey has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 13 members appointed to 6-year terms.
First: 1947
Article or Title: Article VIII: Section IV
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 18A: Sections 1-66
State Commissioner: Angelica Allen-McMillan (Acting Commissioner)
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 13 Members; Appointed; 6 year term
School ChoiceThe New Jersey Department of Education reports there are 1.28 million students enrolled in the state’s 2,493 public schools. The four-year graduation rate is 91% and only 1% of students drop out. The state has 129,689 full-time classroom teachers in the 599 school districts. New Jersey has some interdistrict public school options for families, which ensure that a child’s zip code is not the determining factor of their education. However, New Jersey school districts set their own open enrollment policies. 
     Charter schools are another option for tuition-free public school. There are 87 charter schools in the state with 57,486 students enrolled. Charter schools typically have a specially focused curriculum, such as a Chinese immersion program or a literacy-based curriculum. Magnet schools are also public schools that offer a special curriculum, like performing arts or STEM education. 
     As for other schooling options, New Jersey has private schools, online schools, homeschooling, and learning pods. New Jersey’s private schools and online schools offer specialized learning programs, but they charge tuition. Families may also choose to homeschool their children, whether they choose a traditional homeschooling method or employ learning pods as an option for students to gather together to study. In New Jersey, families are not required to notify the state of their intent to homeschool. 

 

References:

https://www.nj.gov/education/doedata/fact.shtml 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-new-jersey/

Resources

New Mexico

New Mexico has a Department of Education, a State Commission, and a State Secretary of Education. The State Commission consists of 10 members who are elected to 4-year terms.
First: 1911
Article or Title: Article XII: Sections 1-13
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: Chapter 22: Articles 1-35
State Secretary: Dr. Kurt Steinhaus
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Commission; State Secretary of Education
State Board Members: 10 members; Elected; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe New Mexico Public Education Department reports that 331,636 students are enrolled in the public school system. The attendance rate is 83%, and graduation rates have stayed roughly the same over the past few years: 74% of students graduate in four years, 76% in five, and 78% in six. Out of parents and students surveyed, 41 out of 50 believe their school is a good place to learn. 
     New Mexico has limited open enrollment policies for districts, but if families live close to a low-performing school, they may send their child to a different school inside or outside of their district. If families want other public school options, they may send their children to a charter or magnet school. Currently, New Mexico has over 90 charter schools with more than 25,000 students enrolled. 
     As for alternatives to public school, New Mexico has several private schools to choose from, which may offer a religious education or a specialized curriculum. New Mexico private schools charge tuition, and there are no state-run scholarships for school choice. Private scholarships may be available. Families can also homeschool their children, in which case they must notify the state of their intent.

 

References:

https://newmexicoschools.com/state/999999 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-new-mexico/

Resources

New York

New York has a Department of Education, a Board of Regents, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 17 members elected to 5-year terms.
First: 1777
Article or Title: Article XI: Sections 1-3
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: EDN: Titles 1-9
State Commissioner: Dr. Betty A. Rosa
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; Board of Regents; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 17 Members; Elected; 5-year term
School ChoiceAccording to the New York State Education Department, 2,512,973 students are enrolled in the state’s K-12 public school system. About half of those students attend the New York City school system—the largest U.S. school district. New York has 731 districts with 4,411 traditional public schools and 360 charter schools. There are 212,296 public school teachers, and the statewide graduation rate is 86%. 
     Preschoolers in the state can take advantage of a state-administered pre-K program, with 112,797 students enrolled. New York tops school spending in the U.S. at over $25,000 per student, which is 91% above the national average of $13,000.
     In New York, school districts can decide whether to participate in open enrollment, allowing families to attend a school outside of their assigned district. Families may also choose to send their children to one of the state’s 1,800 private schools. While private schools charge tuition and there aren’t any state-run scholarships, many New York private schools work with organizations to help families with funding. Homeschooling is another New York option; families must annually notify the state.

 

References:

https://data.nysed.gov 

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/reports/doe-data-at-a-glance 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-new-york/ 

https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/ny-per-pupil-school-spending-topped-25k-in-2018-19/

Resources

North Carolina

North Carolina has a Department of Public Instruction, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 11 members appointed to 8-year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-10
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Chapter 115C: Sections 1-598
State Superintendent: Catherine Truitt
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: Dept of Public Instruction; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 members; Appointed; 8-year term
School ChoiceThe North Carolina Department of Public Instruction reports that their public school system has 1,469,401 students. There are 118 districts in the state, with 2,467 total schools. In 2021, 72,065 students enrolled in AP classes and 56,619 students enrolled in Career & College Promise (CCP), North Carolina’s dual enrollment program for high school students. The statewide graduation rate is 87%.
     As for school options, North Carolina has 207 charter and other independent schools. North Carolina also has over 800 private schools. Private schools may offer smaller class sizes, special education, or religious teaching. North Carolina offers a few state-run scholarships to help with private school funding, such as the Opportunity Scholarship for low-income families. There’s also the North Carolina Personal Education Students Accounts for Children with Disabilities Program for students with certain special needs. Homeschooling is another viable option for North Carolina families to consider; families must notify the state prior to starting homeschooling.
     North Carolina is starting its first-ever Parent Advisory Commission to allow parents a direct say in their child’s education. The commission will be comprised of 48 parents or guardians, 6 from each of the 8 educational regions of the state. Members will discuss current education issues and make recommendations for policymakers, state officials, and the state superintendent.

 

References:

https://ncreports.ondemand.sas.com/src/state?year=2021&lng=en 

https://www.dpi.nc.gov

Resources

North Dakota

North Dakota has a Department of Public Instruction, a State Board, and a State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 6-year terms.
First: 1889
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-6
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 5
Statutes or Code: Title: 15.1: Chapters 1-38
State Superintendent: Kirsten Baesler
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: Dept of Public Instruction; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 6-year term
School ChoiceAccording to National School Choice Week, most of the 170,000 children in North Dakota attend public schools. North Dakota school districts can determine their own open enrollment policies, which allow families to attend schools outside of their assigned district. This type of school choice enables a family to pick a school that better suits their unique needs. While North Dakota has some school choice in its districts, the state is one of the few in the U.S. that does not have public charter or magnet schools. 
     Another option for North Dakota families to consider is private school. Private schools charge tuition, but they might meet a specific need that a family has, such as a special education curriculum or a faith-based tradition. North Dakota does not offer any state-run scholarships, so families in the state must rely on personal income or private scholarships for private school tuition. Homeschooling is another North Dakota option; families must annually notify the state.

 

Reference:

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-north-dakota/

Resources

Ohio

Ohio has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 19 members with 8 appointed and 11 elected to 4-year terms.
First: 1803
Article or Title: Article VI: Sections 1-6
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 2(IJ – none)
Statutes or Code: Title 33: Chapters 01-85
State Superintendent: Stephanie K. Siddens (Interim Superintendent)
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd: State Board; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 19 Members (11 elected/8 appointed); 4-year term
School ChoiceOhio has the sixth-largest public school system in the U.S., serving over 1.8 million students, according to the Ohio School Boards Association. The state’s public school system employs more than 240,000 full-time workers. Ohio’s public schools have been outperforming its charter schools; 40.1% of the state’s charter schools are failing, compared to only 1.5% of public schools that are in academic emergency or watch.
     Under Ohio law, parents or legal guardians have the right to review their child’s curriculum. They may request to see any type of instructional material before it’s taught to their child. Districts must provide the requested material in a timely manner. Schools must also allow for easy access to state academic standards. Ohio schools encourage families to engage with teachers to ensure their children succeed.
     There are a number of Ohio school options to choose from. In Ohio’s traditional public schools, some districts offer open enrollment. Charter schools, or what Ohio refers to as “community” schools, are another public school option. Ohio also has private schools, with a few state-run scholarships that can assist families with tuition. Additionally, Ohio families may choose to homeschool their children; they are legally required to notify the state.

 

References:

https://www.ohioschoolboards.org/quick-facts-about-ohio-public-schools 

https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Learning-in-Ohio/Standard-Revision-Overview/Parent-and-Guardian-Requests-to-Review-Curricula 

https://scohio.org

Resources

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1907
Article or Title: Article XIII: Sections 1-8
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 1a
Statutes or Code: Title 70: 1-8005
State Superintendent: Joy Hofmeister
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceAccording to Oklahoma School Report Cards, 693,824 students enrolled in the state’s public school system in 2021. Enrollment went down from the previous year (703,456). The most recent data available in 2019 show that 85.97% of students were considered “in good attendance.”
     Oklahoma has some open enrollment policies between districts, allowing families to apply for a school that’s outside of their assigned district. School districts can set limits on transfers, but families may present their case to the school board if their request is denied. Other public school options include charter and magnet schools. Private schools are another Oklahoma education option. While private schools charge tuition, Oklahoma offers a few state-run scholarships to families who meet certain guidelines, such as those who are low-income or have special education needs. If a child attends a low-performing district school, they may also qualify for a scholarship to attend a private school. Additionally, families may choose to homeschool their kids. In Oklahoma, it is not required to notify the state, but it is recommended so that the child is not considered truant.

 

References:

https://oklaschools.com/state/ 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-oklahoma/

Resources

Oregon

Oregon has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Director. The State Board consists of 7 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1857
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-8
Blaine Amendment Language: Sections 2 & 4
Statutes or Code: Volume 9: Chapters 326-365
State Director: Colt Gill
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Director
State Board Members: 7 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe Oregon Department of Education reports there are over 1,200 K-12 public schools within the state’s 197 districts. From 2016 to 2020, Oregon experienced a gradual increase in public school enrollment. After pandemic conditions hit in 2020, Oregon had over 20,000 students disenroll from the public school system. For the 2020-2021 year, 560,917 students enrolled in Oregon’s public schools. In the same year, there were over 70,000 full-time school staff, with 30,000 being teachers.
     To support school choice, Oregon had temporary open enrollment from 2012 to 2019. Families may still request a transfer to another school within their district. Other Oregon public school options include charter and magnet schools. Alternatives to public school in Oregon are private school, online school, and homeschool (where it’s required to notify the state). 

 

References:

https://www.oregon.gov/ode/schools-and-districts/reportcards/Documents/rptcard2021.pdf 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-oregon/

Resources

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Secretary of Education. The State Board consists of 21 members with 17 appointed and 4 elected to 6-year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Article IIIB: Sections 14-15
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 15
Statutes or Code: Title 24: Parts I-VI
State Secretary: Eric Hagarty (Acting Secretary)
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Secretary of Education
State Board Members: 21 Members; 17 Appointed/4 Elected; 6-year term
School ChoiceUsing the most recent data available, the Pennsylvania Department of Education reports that 1,696,022 students are enrolled in its public school system. The state has 120,834 public school teachers and an average four-year graduation rate of 86.6%.
     Pennsylvania offers several school choice options for families. The state has an open enrollment policy, which allows families to attend public schools outside of their assigned district. Other public school options in Pennsylvania include charter and magnet schools. Pennsylvania also offers two tax-credit scholarship programs that assist with private school tuition. Homeschooling is another Pennsylvania school option; it is required to notify the state.

 

References:

https://www.education.pa.gov/DataAndReporting/Pages/default.aspx 

https://www.edchoice.org/school-choice/state/pennsylvania/

Resources

Rhode Island

Rhode Island has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 17 members appointed to 3-year terms.
First: 1790
Article or Title: Article XII: Sections 1-4
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 16: Chapters 1-109
State Commissioner: Angelica Infante-Green
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 17 Members; Appointed; 3-year term
School ChoiceAccording to the Rhode Island Department of Education, 139,184 students enrolled in the public school system in 2020. The state has 66 districts, which are known as Local Education Agencies in Rhode Island. There are 311 public schools in the state staffed by 11,572 teachers. The graduation rate is 83.6%.
     Rhode Island allows school districts to set their own open enrollment policies. Families should contact their school district to see if this is an option. In some instances, districts may provide transportation for students who go to a school outside of their town or city. Other Rhode Island public school options include charter schools or magnet schools. Rhode Island also has over 170 private schools to choose from, which may offer a religious tradition or specialized curriculum. Low-income families may qualify for certain scholarships to help with private school funding. Additionally, Rhode Island families may choose to homeschool their children as long as they notify the state of their intention.

 

References

https://reportcard.ride.ri.gov/202021/StateSnapshot 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-rhode-island/

Resources

South Carolina

South Carolina has a Department of Education, a State Board, and a State Superintendent of Education. The State Board consists of 17 members appointed to 4-year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Article XI: Sections 1-4
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 4
Statutes or Code: Title 59: Chapters 1-156
State Superintendent: Molly Mitchell Spearman
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Education
State Board Members: 17 Members; Appointed; 4-year term
School ChoiceThe South Carolina Department of Education’s state report cards show there are 766,819 public school students with 53,689 teachers in the state. The statewide graduation rate is 83.3%. 
     South Carolina school districts can set their own open enrollment policies, enabling families to attend schools outside of their assigned district. Other public school options for South Carolina families are charter and magnet schools, which may offer innovative learning methods or specialized curricula. South Carolina also has private schools, with one state-run scholarship for families of children with physical or learning disabilities. Homeschooling is another South Carolina option; families are not required to notify the state.

 

References:

https://screportcards.com/overview/?q=eT0yMDIxJnQ9UyZzaWQ9MDAwMA 

https://schoolchoiceweek.com/guide-school-choice-south-carolina/

Resources

South Dakota

South Dakota has a Department of Education, State Board, and State Secretary of Education. The State Board consists of 9 members and are appointed to 4 year terms.
First: 1889
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-20
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 16
Statutes or Code: Title 13: Chapters 1-65
State Secretary: Tiffany Sanderson
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Secretary of Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 4 year term

Resources

Tennessee

Tennessee has a Department of Education, State Board, and State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 9 members and are appointed to 5 year terms.
First: 1796
Article or Title: Article XI: Section 12
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 49: Chapters 1-50
State Commissioner: Dr. Penny Schwinn
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 5 year term

Resources

Texas

Texas has a Texas Education Agency, State Board, and State Commissioner of Education. The State Board consists of 15 members and are elected to 4 year terms.
First: 1836
Article or Title: Article VII: Sections 1-20
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 5
Statutes or Code: Titles 1-6
State Commissioner: Mike Morath
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: Texas Education Agency; State Board; State Commissioner of Education
State Board Members: 15 Members; Elected; 4 year term

Resources

Utah

Utah has a State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 15 members and are elected to 4 year terms.
First: 1895
Article or Title: Article X: Sections 1-9
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 9
Statutes or Code: Title 53B-G
State Superintendent: Dr. Sydnee Dickson
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: State Board of Education; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 15 Members; Elected; 4 year term

Resources

Vermont

Vermont has a Agency of Education, State Board, and State Secretary of Education. The State Board consists of 11 members and are appointed to 6 year terms.
First: 1777
Article or Title: Chapter II: Section 68
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Title 16: Chapters 1-133
State Secretary: Dr. Daniel M. French
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: Agency of Education; State Board; State Secretary of Education
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 6 year term

Resources

Virginia

Virginia has a Department of Education, State Board, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The State Board consists of 9 members and are appointed to 4 year terms.
First: 1776
Article or Title: Article VIII: Sections 1-11
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 10
Statutes or Code: Title 22.1: Chapters 1-25
State Superintendent: Dr. Rosa Atkins (Acting Superintendent)
State or Local Control: Local
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Public Instruction
State Board Members: 9 Members; Appointed; 4 year term

Resources

Washington

Washington has an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Board of Education, and State Superintendent. The Board consists of 16 members with 7 appointed and 5 elected to 4 year terms.
First: 1889
Article or Title: Article IX: Sections 1-5
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 4
Statutes or Code: Title 28A: Chapters 15-900
State Superintendent: Chris Reykdal
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: OSPI; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 16 Members; Appointed & Elected; 4 year term

Resources

West Virginia

West Virginia has a Department of Education, State Board, and State Superintendent of Schools. The State Board consists of 12 members and are appointed to 9 year terms.
First: 1863
Article or Title: Article XII: Sections 1-12
Blaine Amendment Language: None
Statutes or Code: Chapter 18: Articles 1-32
State Superintendent: W. Clayton Burch
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent of Schools
State Board Members: 12 Members; Appointed; 9 year term

Resources

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a Department of Public Instruction and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. No reference to a State Board, but the State Superintendent is elected and serves a 4 year term.
First: 1848
Article or Title: Article X: Sections 1-8
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 3
Statutes or Code: Chapters 115-121
State Superintendent: Dr. Jill Underly
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: Dept of Public Instruction; State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Resources

Wyoming

Wyoming has a Department of Education, State Board, and State Superintendent. The State Board consists of 11 members and are appointed to 6 year terms.
First: 1889
Article or Title: Article 7: Sections 1-23
Blaine Amendment Language: Section 8
Statutes or Code: Title 21: Chapters 1-24
State Superintendent: Jillian Balow
State or Local Control: State
Education Authorities: DoEd; State Board; State Superintendent
State Board Members: 11 Members; Appointed; 6 year term

Resources

Vision & Mission

Our Vision:
To change education and culture through foundational principles and sound policy.

Our Mission:
To educate and collaborate with individuals and organizations to tell the story of America’s education and culture, identify foundational principles that improve it, and advance practice and policy to change it.