School Choice: The Key to Saving the Nation?

The hopes and needs of children are clearly evident when charter, or pilot schools become available in school districts.

Lines, sometimes blocks long, of applicants eager to give their children a better shot at an education can be seen. Unfortunately, there are a limited amount of openings compared to the overwhelming demand by parents desperate to get their children a better education. These scenes, repeated around the country, are heartbreaking, but at the same time gives a sense of hope, that something is being attempted to shake up the government education system

This week is National School Choice Week. It is being celebrated throughout our country with over 3,500 events honoring the change that can transform our education system into one of the finest in the world…But it will take courage to change the status quo.

In honor of School Choice Week, I talked to Jeff Reed, communications director for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. The Friedman Foundation has been spearheading school choice efforts throughout the country, working with new thinking Governors such as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindall and Wisconsins Scott Walker, in turning around a failing government education system.

Jeff shared many positive developments with me, as school choice starts to take hold around the country. See this map of where school choice is being implemented.

Parents love the freedom, when offered, to take a voucher to a private, or alternative school for the chance of a better education for their children.

Many Governors and Mayors love the idea of vouchers not only for the freedom of choice they offer, they love it because it can save them huge amounts of money. Sometimes the cost of a voucher for a student to enroll in a private school is ½ the cost of the public school. That can add up to substantial cost savings to states and cities struggling to keep their heads above water.

Additionally, when school choice is introduced into a state or district, through vouchers, tax credits, savings accounts, etc…It brings competition, which is lacking in the public school system.

But John Norquist, Democratic mayor of Milwaukee from 1988 to 2004, had a unique perspective on school choice and how it can restore our cities.

Norquist wrote: “If a young couple moves to, say, St. Louis and chooses a home in one of the city’s revitalizing neighborhoods, everything goes well until their first child approaches school age. They might decide to pay for private education at one of the few such schools in the city. Or they might take a chance on getting into one of the city’s elite magnet schools. But what looks like the surest way to enroll their child in a good school is to move to a suburb.”

He goes on with: “Although the couple enjoys urban life in St. Louis, they leave for better school opportunities. This process occurs all across the country; many parents with resources move away from cities and suburbs where poor people live.”

The lack of quality education choice leads to the further decay of our big cities and urban areas. Mr. Norquist believes “many more, including middle-class parents, would live in economically and racially diverse cities once school choice was universally available.”

When you hear a leader of the top public education union and fiercest foe of education choice say: “Union dues, not education, are our top priority,”… is plain to see we have lost our way as a country and have failed our children.

Lets give all of our parents and children a choice when it comes to education.

  • Homer

    Here is “EXACTLY” how to get the best education system in the world, and NO it is not my idea but it is and has alraedy been proven: here it is. 1. Put back prayer in school 2. Put back bible (KJV) study 3. Get rid of the U.S. dept of education and make all education a task of each and every state and city school system…personal! 3 Then make school as free and as open to attend the school of their choice! 4. Make Integation and busing a thing of the past…they didn’t work then and they will never work! 5. Let each and every school in each state work their own state suystem and make it work according to the standards based upon past standards..i.e. The KJV Bible!! I am sure many will balk at this but…see pre-1964 history and EVERY graph and indicator will show, with all the evidence needed that what I have just said is TRUE and correct and every detail that showed this is true when up or down and was in correlation to removing these 5 steps above! NO GOD, NO PEACE, KNOW GOD, KNOW PEACE! Simple as that!! STUDY these facts and refute what i have said…SEE David Barton and works by the same!!

  • pearl87

    School choice will never be an option that politicians will embrace. it limits the power and control of the govt, and that is simply not in the best interest of those who wish to dominate and subjugate the people. The best option for those who love liberty and America is homeschooling anyway, because it is the only way that parents can be aware of what they are feeding their child’s mind.

  • School choice is a temporary option as long as the US Dept. of Edn. keeps coming up with Gov’mint School Programs [like NCLB]. Teacher Unions and radical Communist Czars are fixing up a dilly of a program right now.