Free choice is the path to better schools

By Tom Quiner


Kelley Williams-Bolar is going to jail for the crime of wanting a better education for her kids.

This has been Catholic Schools Week and National School Choice Week. Ms. Williams-Bolar’s plight would have been avoided had Democrats not blocked her desire to send her kids to a nice school in the suburbs rather than an inner-city school. In other words, this African-American woman would have avoided jail if a school choice program was in place in her Ohio school district.

Her crime? She falsified documents that claimed her two daughters lived with their father in the nicer neighborhood. Her crime is a felony.

School choice and school voucher programs create opportunities to send their kids to better schools, whether¬†public, private, charter, religious, or secular. It’s not about abandoning public education.

We know members of the last Reid/Pelosi Congress believe in choice. After all, 44 percent of Senators and 36 percent of Congressmen sent their kids to private schools. And yet it is the Democratic party that blocks school choice programs that would allow working class and inner city families have some of their same opportunities.

Does school choice really make a difference? A program was run in Washington D.C. called the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Results were impressive. Test scores were better for voucher recipients. They had a reading advantage of 3.1 months ahead of non-voucher recipients, and the equivalent of 3.7 months of total additional learning, according to a report by the Heritage Foundation.

Despite the success of the program, Democrats in Congress de-funded the program.

I mentioned Catholic schools at the outset because of their notable success in our nation’s inner cities where their graduation rates are 95% compared to 50% in public schools. A school choice program would allow more kids access to these quality schools.

The National Education Foundation and other teacher’s unions fight free choice in public schools. They are huge financial supporters of Democratic candidates.

It’s time to stop criminalizing a mother’s desire for a good education for her kids. Let’s expand free choice now.