When talking about school choice, the conversation often drifts down the wonky path of numbers and test scores that support or oppose the right of a parent to choose where they send their children to school. But, in the context of whether we want a society that supports or limits school choice, the answer is clear: parents—not the government—should have the ultimate say in where their children attend school.
Educational opportunities should not be limited to the rich or the elite. Expanded school choice should be made available to the families in our communities, who live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to provide for their loved ones; to the single mother, who works two jobs because her hours at her primary job were cut after Obamacare went into effect; and to the child with a learning disability, who requires an individualized education program (IEP) but can only receive the minimal education benefit from their local public school.
It’s quite simple—school choice is about providing our children with the opportunity to obtain an education that works best for them, rather than an education that works best for the Washington D.C. bureaucrat, who favors a one-size-fits-all approach to education.
School choice means allowing a child in a rural community to attend an online school from the comforts of their home, so they don’t have to commute 45 minutes each day.
School choice means allowing a high school dropout student to enroll in a Charter School that specializes in GED attainment and career and technical education.
School choice means allowing a low income family to send their child to a school that teaches the values and principles that parents wish to instill in their children.
These are real scenarios that families in our communities confront every day. Through innovative school choice initiatives, we have the opportunity to empower a generation of parents and students to break the outdated model of our broken education system, and open the door to a brighter future for the lives of our children.
I look forward to working with my colleagues on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and with the incoming Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos—a champion of school choice initiatives—as we look to expand school choice options for American students.