Parents Descend on Austin, TX Demanding School Choice

Take Back AustinThe quest for freedom, justice, and opportunity marches on. I mean that literally. Wednesday 5,000 parents, teachers, and students just marched on Austin, Texas in effort to persuade the legislature to let parents choose schools.

Congratulations are due to Texans for School Choice—who have undoubtedly hastened the day when Texas parents are free to choose and Texas children are free to dream. In the spirit of friendly competition, though, I have to say that I heard that South Carolina is looking to beat them to the finish line.

The money quote from the article is after the jump.

Ms. Cantu said she spends nearly $8,000 a year to send her three children to St. Mary of Carmel School in Dallas. Annual tuition at the school costs $3,800 for one child with discounts for additional students.

Dee Santini, the school’s principal, said she has to turn families away every year because they can’t pay. Ms. Santini shepherded 55 people onto a charter bus before 8 a.m. Wednesday to make the trip from Dallas to Austin.

“I feel saddest for the parents who have no choice,” Ms. Santini said as she walked into the Capitol. “Some of our neighborhood schools are very good, but some are very dangerous.”
Many parents and educators agreed with Ms. Santini, saying the current policies relegate poor and minority students to the state’s worst public schools.

“It’s very unfair the rich in this country can send their children to private school, but poor blacks and poor Hispanics cannot,” said Bruce Engelman, pastor of Baptist Temple in Fort Worth. “People are graduating Dallas and Fort Worth public schools who can’t even write their own names. I’ve seen it.”

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