School choice next civil rights battle, says congressman

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Supporters of school choice recently gathered in Washington, D.C. for an "I Trust Parents Rally." 

One of the speakers was U.S. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana), who reminded the crowd of their constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In modern-day America, Messer told the crowd, everyone who wants to succeed must have access to a great education.

"That is why this is the civil rights issue of our time," the congressman said, referring to the issue of school choice.

The Hill reported the July 21 rally at the Capitol was sponsored by publicschooloptions.org. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott also spoke. 

Messer pointed out that students from low-income families, who are stuck in low-performing schools, need better options for school choice. Parents who can afford it often send their children to private schools, he said, or move away from a poor public school system to a better one.

"The real question as a country is, what are we going to do for everybody else," the congressman said.  

The Hill story also reported on recent school-choice legislation in Congress:

The rally comes after lawmakers in both the House and the Senate passed legislation overhauling the No Child Left Behind education law. But the two versions are different on the issue of school choice with the House bill allowing low-income parents to take federal money to the schools of their choice. The Senate rejected such measures.

Back in 1955, economist Milton Friedman wrote "The Role of Government in Education." That book launched the modern effort to use public dollars to pay for private school tuition in hopes that competition among schools would increase student achievement while decreasing education costs.

 

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