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The Millennial View: School Choice Matters

school choiceThere is a wonderful family movie called Akeelah and the Bee that was made in 2006. If you haven’t seen it, do so, as it is a real treat. The movie revolves around an eleven-year-old who lives and goes to school in an impoverished inner city school. What makes this drama so captivating is that Akeelah rises to overcome multiple obstacles to make it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest.

Unfortunately, stories like Akeelah are Hollywood entertainment and have a slim chance ever to become a reality for many of those –mostly minority — students living in poverty in America. In fact, their chances of succeeding and prospering are almost nonexistent with a standard public school in America’s inner cities. These students simply have no choice.

The Trump Administration, however, plans to nurture more Akeelah’s to overcome their disadvantaged circumstances with a massive expansion of the school choice movement.

School Choice is a program heralded by the Trump Administration and despised by public school unions and educators. This should come as no surprise.  Despite scientific evidence, which the left typically accuses Conservatives of ignoring, many liberals reject the proof that School Choice works. Economic and racial equality are only important to the left when politically fitting.

The school choice system works by returning to families their tax dollars that were previously allotted for public school education. These funds may be received in the form of school vouchers or other methods to ensure that the monies will truly be used strictly for educational purposes, and not abused by families.

Keeping educational decisions out of the hands of the government will ensure that children are receiving a learning environment that best fits their needs, for who knows the educational needs of these children better than their parents?

School Choice also creates much-needed competition for public schools. The U.S. currently holds mediocre ratings when it comes to reading, math, and science, as evidenced by a recent study from the Pew Research Center. For instance, “Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development … the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.” Any which way school choice critics cut it – that’s not a very impressive ranking.

Through the competition created by School Choice, public schools may begin to feel pressured for necessary, swift improvement.  A natural question then arises:  Would creating competition for public schools truly be beneficial?

The answer is a resounding yes.

According to Educational Choice, various empirical studies show that after implementation of school choice in many states, public schools have seen improvement in student grades. These statistics also have been shown to apply to F-rated schools.

What indications do the benefits of School Choice have for America’s children? School Choice has opened greater opportunity for all children, regardless of socio-economic status. Moreover, although poverty and educational disadvantages impact children of all colors, USA Today notes that one of the groups greatly benefitting from School Choice is black Americans.

Political differences should not hinder the education of our nation’s children. By enhancing educational opportunities for all children through School Choice, as the Trump Administration aims, our youth will be better equipped to create a healthy, innovative future for our beautiful nation. Let’s work to become first in education again.

So, the left can continue to carp all they want but what America needs is a few more kids coming out of the inner city – just like Akeelah. In a country of vast wealth and prosperity, this can and should and must be done for all the Akleeha’s out there that just need a chance.

Read More From Gabriella Fiorino

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