You’ve probably seen the post-election headlines: private sector employers in the U.S. have begun slashing jobs, attributing their economic hardship to President Obama’s healthcare and environmental policies. But did you hear how some Americans actually voted for some really good things – things that can make for a brighter future?
It’s sad to see what our country has chosen. Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 on a pledge to “bankrupt” the coal industry (if you don’t believe me watch the video on Youtube), and the Obamacare taxes and fees levied against healthcare technology companies are downright onerous. So once it was evident that we chose “more of the same” last Tuesday, it was not surprising to see both the coal energy and healthcare technologies industries announcing thousands of layoffs – they simply can’t afford to continue operating at the same pace, given the President’s policies.
But the good news on election night came from the states of Washington, and Georgia, where residents voted to expand educational choices for children. This is to say that a state which overwhelmingly voted to re-elect President Obama (Washington), and a state that overwhelmingly voted to replace the President with Mitt Romney (Georgia), actually both agreed that increasing kids’ education options by expanding the number of charter schools is an across-the-board good thing.
Charter schools, if you are unfamiliar, are k-12 schools that are partially funded with taxpayer dollars (and partially with private donations), but are usually managed by private individuals and organizations. While each state has their own precise rules, generally speaking charter schools can reach beyond the bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all constraints of the local school district and customize their educational content and approach.
That’s why many charter schools offer academic specialties. Got a kid with an interest in engineering? Some charter schools offer an emphasis in science and mathematics. Does your son or daughter want to be a film maker? A charter school with a fine arts concentration might be a good choice.
The important point is that kids and parents should have these choices available. Charter schools allow people’s tax dollars to be put to use in ways that address the unique needs of students and parents, first and foremost, and in ways that the often self-serving established public schools don’t. Fortunately, Georgians and Washingtonians voted last week to allow even more of these options to flourish.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.