Diverse classrooms, chosen freely


“S.C. needs wide school choice” a Letter to the Editor in the Greenville News:

I commend Rep. Eric Bedingfield and Sen. Robert Ford for their March 1 commentary in which they plainly state the underlying issue affecting education in our state — the lack of choice.

Many opponents of school choice say parents should not be given more freedom to choose which school their children attend because that will lead to segregation of students by race and income. Bedingfield and Ford, who himself is African American, know that this argument is false and cannot be supported by evidence. It displays a serious lack of confidence in the people of South Carolina.

Bedingfield and Ford asked how we can call ourselves a culture that celebrates diversity when thousands of children are trapped in failing schools. Opponents of school choice say segregation will occur if choice is allowed. The contrary already exists. Evidence shows that student populations in private schools are already more diverse than those in public schools and that choice will encourage diversity in all schools. Currently, public school classrooms across South Carolina are segregated by race and economics. Whether a South Carolina public student is white or African-American, chances are their classmates look just like they do. South Carolina’s dirty little secret is that our public school students don’t have the opportunity to learn in a racially and economically diverse classroom, particularly in inner city schools. Truly integrated schools are not the public schools, but rather the private or independent schools, chosen freely and supported by parents.

Support school choice.

Signed, Brian Scoles, Taylors, South Carolina

Read more about the South Carolina Educational Opportunity Act, the bill sponsored by Senator Ford and Representative Bedingfield, here.


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