Educational Choice is Green

By Kimberly Sawatka

There are many benefits to educational choice policies in communities, but finance and real estate professor at N.C. State, Bartley Danielson, offers a unique reason to support choice – it’s environmentally friendly.

Danielson says educational choice is not only good for the students but good for the environment too. He founded Environmentalists for Education Reform which hopes to support school choice through research and informing the public of the environmental advantages.

Many people commute over 25 miles one way to and from work, creating massive amounts of emissions into the atmosphere. Danielsen argues that if people had the choice of learning environment for their children, they may opt to live closer to their respective jobs – even choosing to set up house in downtown urban areas, which may have lesser public schools than in suburban areas.

The group’s website further explains that not having educational choice is bad for city growth and forces families into suburbs for schools only. The negative side effects of this pattern of migration include, traffic congestion, air pollution, reduced health and life expectancy, higher infrastructure costs, concentrations of poverty in the cities, and increased carbon emissions.

Empowering parents with educational choice options for their children’s education is currently proving to be the “least costly and most significant policy change that cities and states can enact to improve the environment.