Why do I say that? Let me give you two reasons:
School choice is a civil rights issue
Giving every parent in America – regardless of where they live, how much money they have or the color of their skin — the opportunity to send their children to a school offering them a quality education is the civil rights issue of our day.
Schools are failing our children throughout the United States. But the problem is particularly bad in poor neighborhoods. Our inner-city schools are a national disgrace.
Providing a realistic way for inner-city parents to choose a quality school will help many black children escape the multi-generational carnage destroying their lives because they don’t have access to a quality education.
Choice for all, not a few
One of the most common objections I hear about school vouchers and charter schools is that the money spent on them benefits a few at the expense of the many.
I share that concern. Vouchers are useless to families that can’t afford any money for private-school tuition. And, in many areas, you literally have to win the lottery to get your kids into a charter school. Separate but equal, regardless of the motivation, is something we don’t want to repeat.
End The Education Plantation proposes a federal law requiring every state that accepts federal educational funds to provide Educational Freedom Accounts for every K-12 student equal to at least 95% of the average money spent per pupil in that state. Parents would decide where the money to educate their children is spent.
Per-pupil spending averages about $11,000 across the United States. If parents can spend that money at any state-approved school of their choice, they should be able to find a school that will offer their kids a good education – even if they have little or no money themselves. Our proposal puts everyone on an equal footing.
We offer parents and their kids the freedom to leave the education plantation – schools providing lousy educations to students forced to attend them. Let’s make those schools compete for students. Then they’ll improve or go away and be replaced by schools that will provide a good education.
I hope I’ve made the case for Black History Month being a perfect time to talk about school choice.
But school choice isn’t a black issue – or a white issue. It isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue. It isn’t a conservative or liberal issue. It’s a moral issue. And a civil rights issue. I believe it’s the civil rights issue of our time.
So, what are we going to do to fix our schools? What are you going to do to fix them?
One thing you can do is become involved in our crusade to give every parent in America a realistic opportunity to send their kids to schools offering them a quality education. We’re a grassroots organization. We need your help – and your money — to win this fight.