Political party does not trump parenting

Posted on April 11, 2024 In Op-ed

By Nathan Diament

During a time when our politics couldn’t be more divided, the topic of school choice offers a glimmer of hope.

Last month, people from all walks of life marked National School Choice Week. This is one event where political parties shouldn’t play a role. When it comes to our children, we are all on the same team.

School choice is based on the simple notion that all students, regardless of their family’s socioeconomic status, can attend a good school chosen by their parents and not by their ZIP code. It gives parents the opportunity to have a greater say in the way their children are raised and the values that are imparted to them. Which parent wouldn’t want that?

Red and blue states nationwide are embracing these principles and flourishing as a result. Take purple Pennsylvania and its red neighbor Ohio, for example. Both of these states embrace school choice policies with bipartisan support and, as a result, are assisting students on a local level.

Policies enacted by these states range from school vouchers to tax credits. As EdChoice notes, “School vouchers give parents the freedom to choose a private school for their children, using all or part of the public funding set aside for their children’s education.” In various states, tax credits robustly support private contributions to scholarship funds that enable children to attend the school their parents think is best.

Witnessing the success of these programs, it’s now time for the federal government to start adopting similar policies. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) are the new leaders of the Congressional School Choice Caucus and are working overtime to see the coalition’s goal into action. These leaders are not just here to talk. They have tangible policies in mind. They are ready to level the playing field of education, starting with the Educational Choice for Children Act, a bill that would expand freedom and opportunity for millions of students in America.

It would do so by providing a charitable donation incentive for individual donors and businesses to fund scholarship awards for students to cover various expenses related to K-12 public and private education, including tuition and other supplemental support. While these bills can take time to pass, it’s comforting to see the topic of school choice gaining momentum and bringing unity.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s public schools lost at least 1.2 million students, and these numbers are not picking up anytime soon. Parents are looking for other options, and soon enough, the federal government will respond to this need. There are tangible plans in place that benefit both teachers and students. Now, we just need to garner the support to actualize them.

Parents should not have to feel like their hands are tied behind their backs when it comes to providing the best possible education for their children. The ECCA and other school choice initiatives ensure that parents have the freedom to choose what’s best for their children. That’s something every parent should get behind.

Source: Washington Examiner