School Choice: The Most Important Civil Rights Issue of Our Day?

Parents should have the freedom to choose where their kids attend school.  Unfortunately, the education system in America is under the control of teachers’ unions and government officials.  Unions and politicians assert that they know what is best for your children.  And they claim they could do a better job if they just had more of your money.  Yet, teachers’ unions reject the common-sense and budget-balancing ideas of being able to fire poorly performing teachers without drawn-out legal battles, 401(k) retirement plans rather than bloated and unsustainable pensions, constructing less-expensive school buildings and many, many more.  As a private school administrator, I would love to comb through a government school district budget and figure out why they need so much money!  The government’s claim to need more money for education contradicts the existence of thousands of private schools in America who educate students far better for far less.

What is the answer?  Competition!  But teachers’ unions, in fact, unions of any kind, hate that word and what it stands for.  It means people succeed and keep their jobs based on merit, hard work, and positive results, and not simply because someone pays dues to a union to protect their own turf.

If our goal as Americans is to offer the finest education system in the world we must provide a competitive environment that forces schools to provide a better-quality education and to do so more efficiently.  And top it off by offering parents the choice of where to apply the tax money that they earned.  Parents are smart.  If schools are thrust into competition, then the market will determine which schools succeed and which ones fail.

Finally, it is the poorest Americans who do not have the opportunity to enroll their kids in better schools.  Families in many of America’s urban centers, are held hostage by a government-operated education system that dictates no school choice as the best solution.  It’s almost a bizarre contradiction.  Liberals who shout from the rooftops that they are most concerned about the plight of the poor are the exact same people who reject school choice, who reject charter schools, and who reject voucher initiatives.  Yet, the citizenry in the urban centers of America continue to vote these same people into office!  Should not poor families be granted the right of freedom in education for their children?

One of the leading voices for charter schools and school vouchers is Star Parker who rightly asserts that freedom in education is the civil rights issue of our day.  You can link to one of her insightful articles here: http://www.urbancure.org/article.asp?id=3268&tag=Education.

The school choice movement is gaining momentum in America today.  Please do all you can to support school leaders, politicians, and others in the effort to create a better future for the children of our country.  Let’s place the destiny of our children back where it belongs; into the hands of parents.

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