Want Reform? Get Involved

You would probably have to search far and wide to find someone willing to say that community interest and involvement don’t play a vital part in the education process.

We just find it interesting that some of the people most willing to acknowledge this fact are also the most vocal in denying that parents should be given the ultimate tool for involvement in education: school choice.

The whole basis of school choice is parents and community members being actively involved in K-12 education. Here are three examples of community members acting on their commitment to education by calling for substantive reform.

Tara Mitchell from Elgin wrote the following letter to the editor, which appeared in The State on Wednesday (“Kershaw schools don’t have real choice”). Tara certainly didn’t hold back from chastising the staff for confabulating a controversial transfer program in Kershaw with actual school choice.

I hope no one will try to blame the problems going on in the Kershaw County School District on school choice. The “choice” program in Kershaw County is not school choice at all; it is just a public school transfer program.

Real school choice gives parents the ability to send their child to the best school for them, even if that means a private or Christian school. Right now in Kershaw County, the school district ultimately makes the call on where children can attend, not the parents.

It should be apparent that having choices restricted by government is hardly better than having no choices at all. Give all the parents in Kershaw County equal access to the best schools, public or private, and the racial disparity will sort itself out.

If there are problems of racial imbalance in Kershaw County schools, it is not because there are some choices available to parents; it is because there are not enough.

Randy Page, President of SCRG penned this editorial piece in The Sumter Item drawing attention the a new $3.5 million administration building being constructed in Sumter District 17 – a district that is being merged with Sumter 2.

Sumter District 17 is, despite the looming consolidation, pushing forward on its plan for a brand new$3.5 million administration building. The 26,000-square-foot structure is to be built atop a $1.38 million parcel of land. The building will be financed through a controversial installment purchase plan, approved in 2006, which is not subject to the district’s cap on debt. The superintendent of District 2 reports that his administrative complex has both excess office space and land for new buildings, but District 17 is not listening. They insist this “wise and prudent” project must go forward “for the good of Sumter’s children.” …

All this speaks to much more than costly bureaucracies and wasteful spending in Sumter. It is sadly indicative of an entitlement mentality among some public servants who treat taxpayer money as their own.

The Greenville News argues that real reform means School Choice, public and private.

In recent years the state has implemented Personal Pathways to Success, a program aimed at making school more relevant to students. It also has invested in early education to help all children get ready to learn. But more needs to be done, such as continuing to support charter schools and other alternative education efforts. And South Carolina should pursue some form of private school choice that lets some students use public money to attend private schools.

Show your own interest in giving all families in South Carolina access to a quality education. Get involved in the reform process yourself. Follow Tara’s lead and take a few minutes to write a letter to the editor voicing your support for school choice!

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One response to “Want Reform? Get Involved

  1. Pingback: Public Transfer Plans are a Distraction « The Voice for School Choice

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