Excuses for denying parents real educational options are getting harder and harder to come by. The “old stand-by” lines of bureaucrats and political insiders invested in the status quo are simply not able to stand up to the fact that school choice really works. Other states ( with higher performing public schools) have instituted choice programs that have helped many thousands of families. Despite this, the managers of the nation’s most consistently underperforming public education system insist that they are more qualified than parents to decide how children should be educated.
Thankfully, some state lawmakers in South Carolina are refusing to be pushed around by baseless arguments from the education establishment. In the face of intense opposition, Democratic Senator Robert Ford has demanded school choice options for families. Likewise, Republican Senator Kevin Bryant ( Anderson, SC) has refused to back down from giving all children access to a quality education.
In a strongly-worded guest column in The State, Senator Bryant uses the experience of choice in other states to dismantle the arguments that school choice will not help “poor kids,” and that corporations and individuals will not step forward to contribute to Student Scholarship Organizations.
This from Senator Bryant’s column-
” This is real school choice, and detractors are attacking it by saying it “won’t help poor kids” because there is “no guarantee” private companies and individuals will support scholarships for low-income, mostly minority students.
There are no guarantees in Pennsylvania either, but since its inception, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program has seen more than 3,200 companies pledge donations, and sent more than $350 million to some 600 scholarship-granting organizations. A key provision of the S.C. legislation is modeled after this successful program.
In the current school year, this investment in academic freedom has funded more than 50,000 scholarships to poor, at-risk students in Pennsylvania.
That’s 50,000 students getting a fresh start — and $300 million freed up within the public system to educate a smaller number of students.
In 2007, 62 corporations gave $14 million to student tuition organizations in Arizona, and 20,000 scholarships were made available for low-income students in Florida.”
Senator Bryant also calls out those who use personal attacks to oppose educational options for parents. Continue reading