Leadership is lining up behind school choice

August 28, 2012

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has vowed to work with Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) to help pass school vouchers this upcoming Texas legislative session.  It was reported to the Dallas Morning News that he made that commitment in Tampa speaking before the Texas delegation to the Republican National Convention.  Key proponents of parents having the right to select their child’s school have been meeting with legislative leaders in Texas and have encouraged them to take the lead of Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mitch Daniel of Indiana and push for education reform which includes vouchers.

This is a very basic freedom issue.  If government were to assign citizens to shop at a specific grocery store – and you were assigned based on your zip code – and the meat was rancid, the dairy products were soured and the produce rotten, we would be rioting in the streets.

Why are so many people complacent about education?

Ronald Reagan once said: “If you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal, state and local agencies will investigate you, summon you, close you down, whatever. But if you provide a child with a rotten education, nothing happens, except that you’re liable to be given more money to do it with.”

We support lifting the cap on charter schools and making sure that failing schools are shut down – both charter schools and public schools.  We also support stronger parent triggers which allow parents greater control over their local schools, as well as merit pay for teachers.  Education reform must be addressed as we have new education delivery systems, we must modernize our systems.

But at the forefront should be the parents’ right to select the educational environment where they believe their children have the greatest opportunity to succeed.  It is called freedom.

If public school proponents oppose choice, we should ask them why they have so little confidence in the educational product they are providing that they would fear an exodus from the public school if parents are given a right to choose.

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