According to this article in USA Today, school choice is a reform measure that more black lawmakers are willing to publicly support.
Despite heated opposition from unions and status quo politicians, these officials have been willing to do whatever it takes to help children in failing public schools have access to a quality education. Prominent examples of this very necessary leadership are Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Washington, D.C., mayor Anthony Williams.
Putting children first- in the face of political pressure- puts these leaders in stark contrast to President Obama, who presided over the demise of the school choice program in Washington, D.C. that allowed low-income students to escape public schools so bad that US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan referred to them as “a national disgrace.”
Here in South Carolina, State Senator Robert Ford has been a strident voice for school choice options. Despite personal attacks and dismissive treatment by establishment hangers-on, Ford has continued pointing out the hypocrisy of lawmakers refusing parents choice, and demanding that low-income students in South Carolina have the same opportunities as those available to the children of more influential citizens.
Many other African American legislators in South Carolina represent districts where tens of thousands of low income, minority students are trapped in underperforming public schools. Unlike Ford, few have been willing to support the “SC Educational Opportunity Act,” which would give low income students access to a variety of schools through the use of scholarships.
Across the nation, parents are embracing school choice as being necessary for their children to get a quality education. More and more parents are looking to lawmakers to make the options available, and those that continue to cling to a failed “one-size-fits-all” model of education are doing so for all the wrong reasons.
Concerned parents want school choice, and their wishes need to be represented by the people elected to do so. In South Carolina, lawmakers have a chance to show the nation that they understand the times, and the needs of children, by passing school choice.