School Choice is the New Normal. But not in South Carolina.
H/T to the Heritage Foundation for inspiring this post.
The Heritage Foundation has a timely report today which details how school choice is becoming the norm in states across our country, eager to give families the best opportunity to educate their children with a curriculum that suits their child and makes a path for success.
The Heritage Foundation outlines successes in places like the District of Columbia, where our SC delegation (Duncan, Gowdy, Mulvaney, Wilson, and Scott) joined John Boehner in “restoring and expanding the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program – which was placed on life support by Obama’s Congress. Now, low-income children in the District (one of the worst-ranked public school systems in America), have a chance at a quality education.”
Sadly, another of the worst ranked public school systems in America is right here in South Carolina, where Wednesday a Republican in Spartanburg County, Rep. Eddie Tallon, voted to deny South Carolina kids the same chance at a quality education as our Congressman Gowdy voted for the kids in DC. Yep. Tallon and Obama’s Congress. On the same side of that issue.
Heritage reports on Arizona who “enacted a groundbreaking Education Savings Account program providing parents with special-needs children options for private schooling. Parents in Arizona can now receive 85 percent of the state per-pupil funding in an ESA and can use that money to pay for private school tuition.”
What a great opportunity for those parents in Arizona to be able to choose a different path for their children who need an alternative education “fit” different than the regular public schools! You know who voted to keep kids in South Carolina who may flourish with a different opportunity from having their chance? Republican Rep Mike Forrester from Spartanburg said our kids didn’t get that alternative when he joined 44 Democrats voting against the bill moving forward Wednesday.
Wisconsin has had their share of victories in education this year. According to Heritage, they “successfully broke the union stranglehold on public education and expanded the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.” That’s great news for families in Wisconsin who can now have more options for deciding for themselves how to educate their own children. Rita Allison, a Republican from Spartanburg, with her vote on Wednesday decided FOR YOU that you would not be having the same options as the parents in Wisconsin.
Heritage relates that Indiana passed legislation, which will provide, when it is fully enacted, an estimated “600,000 children the opportunity to attend private school that better meets their needs”. Imagine 600,000 children who will go from the frustration of an environment that may be great for some, but not for them, to a school where their particular learning style is embraced and they can be excited about learning! Republican Steve Parker ensured with his vote on Wednesday that more kids in SC will be joining the rising percentage of SC high schoolers who drop out and never graduate because the public schools lack the curriculum to hold their interest.
In one of the more inspiring examples in the Heritage report, “Oklahoma has enacting a tuition tax credit program for businesses that choose to contribute to scholarship-granting organizations, which in turn provide vouchers to low-income children.” Think about it! Businesses who want to invest in the future of their state’s most important resources, the kids, are able to generously donate to scholarship funds which can provide education freedom for kids who are trapped in failing school districts. We know about South Carolina’s Corridor of Shame. Republicans Doug Brannon and Derham Cole of Spartanburg either don’t know about, or don’t care about the kids living in our state in failing schools, made more desperate by the generational poverty that keeps them there, since they voted Wednesday to kill the chance for businesses and individuals to contribute to scholarship funds.
Near the conclusion of the report Heritage education policy analyst Lindsey Burke writes:
Indeed, this is the new normal: we are now taken aback by the states that haven’t implemented some sort of school choice option for families, whether its tuition tax credits, vouchers or online learning.
We too are taken aback, to put it in the mildest possible terms, that six Spartanburg Representatives crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats to deny SC families education options that other states are embracing.
When we wonder why South Carolina, a proud state, full of independent citizens has schools with record numbers of dropouts that rank near last nationally we have to recognize what we have here in South Carolina that states like Arizona, Wisconsin, and Indiana don’t have.
They don’t have Republicans like Rita Allison, Doug Brannon, Derham Cole, Mike Forrester, Steve Parker, and Eddie Tallon who vote with Democrats (and the democrat masters, the teacher’s unions) and vote against our kids.
Cross post from The Spartanburg Tea Party