Imagine you are Jeanne Allen—who joined me recently on Common Ground—and you’re a longtime educational reformer, and you’ve coined this phrase, “backpacks full of cash.”

And the phrase is catching on because it truly captures an exciting idea in American education—the notion that, instead of appropriating giant sums to school systems, we, in effect, give each child a backpack full of cash to spend on education as their parents see fit.

The money in the backpack goes to the school the parents choose. If public schools performed well, parents could send their students—and the accompanying backpacks full of cash—to them.

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