School Choice Week Must Be a Call to Action

Posted: Feb 01, 2014 12:01 AM
School Choice Week Must Be a Call to Action

Every child should have the opportunity to achieve his or her American Dream. Sadly, right now, not every child has a fair shot. Far too many young students are stuck in failing schools. They don’t receive the quality of education they deserve; they lack the resources to learn and thrive.

In twenty-first century America, this is unacceptable and unfair.

As champions of school choice and opportunity, I believe Republican leaders can play a major role in fixing this problem. Last November I travelled to New Orleans to hear first-hand from students and parents who have benefited from Governor Jindal’s Louisiana Scholarship Program. This program has allowed kids to escape failing schools and enroll at better schools that offer them a quality education.

In 2013 alone, 8,000 children – 90 percent minority, all low-income – were given scholarships. These students mostly came from schools rated “D” or “F” for their poor performance. This program was a great step with measurable results, but unfortunately, not all American children are being given the same opportunity.

President Obama’s White House has not supported parents who want to have options when it comes to their children’s education. In fact, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Louisiana’s program. It appears this administration is more interested in winning political points with teacher unions, who oppose school choice, than in guaranteeing children equal opportunity in education.

That’s why this past week has been so important. School Choice Week gives a platform to students, parents, influencers and everyday Americans to speak up in favor of better education. It provides us all an opportunity to combat the destructive rhetoric and actions coming from the administration.

But while School Choice Week is an important tool to bring school choice to the attention of all Americans, it’s not enough. There’s work to be done. Our nation’s education system is broken, and on behalf of our children, we must fight urgently for reform. They’re falling behind their international peers.

So to all those who stood up for educational choice this week, I want to say thank you. But our fight isn’t over yet.