Today marks the start of School Choice Week.
— School Choice Week (@schoolchoicewk) January 22, 2017
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) January 23, 2017
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) January 23, 2017
— Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie) January 23, 2017
— Wes Goodman (@WesleyGoodman) January 23, 2017
Betsey DeVos–the incoming Secretary of Education–also lent her support for School Choice Week.
Every day, millions of students exercise some form of #SchoolChoice! Join me in celebrating National School Choice Week! -Betsy
— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVos) January 23, 2017
Others maligned the movement, suggesting it’ll bring about the destruction of American schools:
Don't believe #alternativefacts on vouchers.
— ACLU (@ACLU) January 23, 2017
#SchoolChoice =while we are gentrifying Black areas, lets defund public schools & create private school options the Black kids can't afford
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) January 23, 2017
— Mike Phillips (@MikeAsMedia) January 23, 2017
President Trump campaigned on a platform that encompasses greater school choice and has stressed he will encourage Congress to pass bills that encourage more choice in education opportunities. Here’s more from his education platform:
- Immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars.
- Give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend. Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice, magnet schools and charter laws, encouraging them to participate.
- Establish the national goal of providing school choice to every one of the 11 million school aged children living in poverty.
- If the states collectively contribute another $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice, on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who today lives in poverty.
Why does school choice matter? It empowers parents, fosters competition, places students in better schools, and holds failing schools accountable. Applying free market solutions to education will not only bolster it, it’ll root out corruption and poor test results. Education should be child-focus, not a source of enrichment for greedy union members.
We should be optimistic about school choice policies being implemented in the Trump Administration. Let’s hope!