Milton Friedman’s School Choice Revolution: An Opinion


The late Nobel laureate Milton Friedman has been an inspiration to many, but none more lasting than his call for a school choice revolution. Four states in 2021— Florida, Iowa, Utah, and Arkansas— have already adopted Friedman’s idea of school choice, allowing parents to decide where public education funds for their children go. More are soon to follow as West Virginia, Arizona and Oklahoma, Ohio, Wyoming and Texas have legislation pending for school choice and other states are working on more limited versions.

Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow with the American Federation for Children, points to a strong wave of momentum when it comes to school choice and notes how 40 out of 69 incumbents supported by the AFC were defeated in the most recent legislative elections.

In 1955, Friedman first elaborated on school choice and his idea of vouchers redeemable for a specified maximum sum of money if spent ‘approved’ educational services. It took a while for his idea to catch on, but COVID fast-tracked and propelled school choice even further as parents noticed schools putting students last by shutting down. This lead to an uprising, with parents wanting school choice more than ever, a movement Asra Nomani, a single mom and former reporter, is leading in Northern Virginia.

The school choice revolution also has far-reaching political implications, as it sets up a head-on collision between teachers unions– who hold great power in politics– and parents.Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, recently gave a speech at the National Press Club warning of the pending school-choice measures, while many point out President Biden’s remark that Friedman “isn’t running the show anymore” back in Spring 2020 in Wilmington, DEL.

The American Federation for Children (AFC) is one of the leading non-profit organizations in the nation advocating for school choice. It provides resources and support to state organizations and its mission is to promote and advance quality K-12 education’s options as a means to improve education outcomes for children.

Corey DeAngelis is a senior fellow for the AFC and is dedicated to helping ensure that every child has access to a quality education. He believes in using the data to make sound educational policy decisions, and believes the education system should be defined by the goals of parents and children, not educational bureaucracies. Throughout the years, he has helped craft and advise education policy in states across the nation that focus on expanding options for students, providing life-changing options for children.