Apr 14, 2018
Show 3025 Milton Friedman on Education Reform and School Choice for All Children (1996)
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is an American education reform organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was founded in 1996 by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and his wife, economist Rose Director Friedman. The Friedman Foundation’s mission is to advance “school choice for all children” nationwide.
Called “the nation's leading advocate of vouchers” by the Wall Street Journal, the Friedman Foundation’s 13-member board is chaired by Dr. Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO of Overstock.com. The Friedman Foundation, according to its website, works with “nonprofits, schools, community organizations, businesses, parents, teachers, and concerned citizens to provide general education, outreach, and advocacy on school choice.”
Every year on what would have been Milton Friedman’s birthday, July 31, the Friedman Foundation hosts a worldwide celebration for its founder. In 2012, the 100th anniversary of Dr. Friedman’s birth saw events held in every American state and 43 countries. Friedman also received coverage from The Atlantic, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, the Chicago Tribune, Forbes.com, Rush Limbaugh, National Review Online, Thomas Sowell, Slate, and the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore.
On July 31, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois, the Friedman Foundation held a dinner gala that welcomed host Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus of CME Group (formerly the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), and keynote speaker Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Dr. Rice, a former colleague of Milton Friedman’s at Stanford University, said:
“I often had the opportunity to talk with Milton and (his wife) Rose. They understood the power of ideas – the power of one particular idea. That’s the belief that free markets and free people will own the future.” 
Also in 2012, Maine Gov. Paul LePage proclaimed July 31 as “Milton Friedman Day.”
The Friedman Foundation’s work is state-focused, with an emphasis on legislation and judicial matters related to school choice.
The Friedman Foundation was involved with the U.S. Supreme Courts’ landmark decision on Ohio’s private school choice program in Cleveland, filing an amicus brief along with the Center for Individual Freedom, Cato Institute, and Goldwater Institute in support of the petitioners. The Supreme Court in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris concluded Cleveland’s school voucher program did not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
In 2013, the Friedman Foundation was credited with influencing the Indiana Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that the nation’s largest school voucher program was constitutional. The Friedman Foundation was cited in the official ruling. In responding to the court’s decision, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence credited the Friedman Foundation for its work in ensuring the program’s continuation.
The Friedman Foundation also conducts educational and advocacy work on school choice legislation in states, including Alaska , Indiana , Montana , New Hampshire , North Carolina , and Tennessee.