Opinion

Give Parents School Choice

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Posted: Jul 27, 2020 12:01 AM
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Give Parents School Choice

Source: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

With the left doing everything it can to disrupt and terrorize the streets of major cities, promising to give all illegal aliens a path to citizenship, and working overtime to take down President Trump by every means possible, the cost of letting Biden win in November is becoming more evident. Critical differences between Trump and Biden make giving Trump four more years essential to the future of America.

Conservatives hold onto the hope that America’s silent majority are ready to provide an encore Trump victory in 2020. But even if Trump wins, we may very well be on the verge of losing the culture war that puts the future of America in doubt. The left is using their hold on our public schools to mold the thinking of our next generation of voters—our children.

President Trump is calling for the schools to open in the Fall, and he’s talking about supporting “school choice.” When schools are balking at opening and want more money, giving all parents school choice and the funds to go with it is a potentially winning issue for November. Is it not time to stop forcing parents to send students to underperforming schools dedicated to indoctrinating their children in leftist thinking?

Minority parents are crying out for school choice and the funds to make it happen. Parents of all races want their children in schools that give them the best chance of success. It’s time to end direct funding for public schools and let all schools compete for students on the basis of their results. In Sweden, school choice has been in force since 1982. Fail to produce results, and you lose students. Produce results and more students will come.

Attending school is very important to children.The American Academy of Pediatrics reported, “The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring.”

They report that children lost months of academic ground in reading and math after classes were canceled because of COVID-19. If black lives matter, school choice should matter, too. The impact of closed schools fell disproportionately on students from lower-income, rural and minority households because of lack of computer and reliable internet access. Many of those same students rely on school meals for nutrition. Child neglect and abuse are going under reported. Of course, one also can’t discount the economic impact when parents are unable to go to work because their stay-at-home children must be cared for.

President Donald Trump recently tweeted that other countries are opening schools: “In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”

In California, the irresponsible Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has a long leftwing wish list before schools can even consider being “safely” open. They want to defund police, provide another federal bailout, funds for illegal aliens, medicare-for-all, higher wealth taxes, a moratorium on charter schools, and housing security as a right. These demands have nothing to do with the virus or “safe” schools.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said what conservatives have wanted for years: "If schools aren't going to reopen, they shouldn’t get the funds.Give it to the families to decide" Let the fund allocations follow the students to the school they choose to attend. That’s school choice!

At a time when American public schools choose not to open and continue to languish and underperform, it’s clear that school choice—vouchers and charter schools—can increase parental satisfaction and involvement, make public schools more accountable, and lead to the hiring and keeping of better teachers. Results and competition should matter.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling supporting school choice for parents. In upholding school choice programs without discriminating against religious education, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision regarding Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, advanced school choice stating: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”

It’s time to give low income, minority parents the choices wealthier citizens already enjoy. As Senator Tim Scott (SC) asserted: “In our society . . . we spend so much time on the ‘root causes’ and the disadvantages that we forget to talk about the solutions and the advantage that we have over the rest of the world. . . . It is absolutely essential that we have quality education in every ZIP Code, especially the poorest ZIP Codes in America. That is the path forward.”

With public schools refusing to open and provide their essential service, it’s time to free up their funds to let parents find schools that will. It’s time for school choice!