Again this year, America will observe and celebrate National School Choice Week. Parents and communities everywhere will be advocating for more choice and more voice in the education of their children.
The War on the Family
It often seems that the government and school boards across the nation have deliberately set a course of opposition to families. Under the guise of health and education of the children, the government has waged war on the family and parental authority. It is small wonder that “school choice” movement continues to gain momentum. National and local polls continue to show that 65-70% of the public support some form of school choice.
The high-handed tactics of the teachers’ unions and school boards have placed unprecedented pressure on state legislators. As a result, many states have passed school choice legislation for the first time. Other states have expanded current school choice options.
School Choice vs. Educational Freedom
It is important to note that “school choice” is a very broad term and applies to many different situations. Charter schools, for example, offer some parents an alternative to the local public school. Some states and school districts will often permit parents to pick any school within a certain district or geographic area. In reality, it is only a “choice” among government schools that are still ruled and regulated by government agents. Other states offer small subsidies to parents that can be spent either outside the school or even applied to the payment of tuition and expenses at a private or religious school.
These benefits are rarely enough to permit a poor parent to send their children to one of those schools. In all cases, these school choice options are granted by the state legislatures and can be withdrawn at any time. What the legislature gives, it can takeaway. The same politicians who created a particular school choice program can limit, expand, or end it without the consent of parents. Thus, current programs may be a form of “school choice,” but it is a long way from true educational freedom.
The Educational Freedom Act Initiative
Real School Choice
Unlike other programs, the Educational Freedom Act initiative definitively amends the California State Constitution and relevant state statutes to permanently and constitutionally guarantee the right of parents to choose how best to educated their own children. The key features of this initiative are these:
1. An Education Savings Account (“ESA”) will be established for each K-12 child in California on request.
2. Each year, that account will be credited with the student’s share of what are known as Prop 98 funds. That share will begin at $15,000 per year per student.
3. The parent will be able to direct the ESA trust funds to a participating, accredited private or parochial school. The money will follow the student not the politicians.
4. Any unspent funds will accumulate and can be spent on college, vocational training or other qualified educational expense.
Our proposal is both simple and revolutionary. It will put parents in charge. Once enacted, California schools will go from being among the worst schools in America to being the best. Once again, California will lead the way. We Californians will lead. We will define the future. America is in our hands.
Target 2024: New Year - - New Website
We thought that National School Week would be a great time to freshen and re-launch our website. We think that you will find it cleaner and easier to find things. It is especially designed to assist first time visitors to move more quickly through the web site. We hope that you too will find the site more engaging and that it make easier to get connected with us, volunteer, and support our effort.
To check it out, click here and let us know what you think. And while you are there, be sure to volunteer and give us a little love! We will need to raise millions of dollars to ensure that we can gather in 2023 the 875,000 valid signatures necessary to place this on the 2024 ballot.