School choice: an idea whose time has come. Finally.
It took Covid school closures that lasted way too long. Students lost ground in reading and, to a greater degree, in math. Remote schooling brought surprises for parents who learned that their kids were being taught to hate their nation because it’s racist and — by the way — so are they. It came to light that schools were aiding and affirming students in adopting transgender identities and intentionally keeping this from parents. When parents showed up to complain, Attorney General Merrick Garland, at the behest of the National School Boards Association, called them domestic terrorists and began to treat them that way. It became obvious that the interests of students and their parents were taking a back seat to the demands of teachers’ unions.
The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn points out that many parents across the country who “didn’t start out demanding school choice” came to champion the idea. Mr. McGurn says their mood affected the November elections. He quotes Cory De Angelis, senior fellow with the American Federation for Children, who said that in the 2022 midterms, “there was a school choice wave.”
So far this year, 4 states have adopted universal school choice. This is school choice for everyone. Florida followed Iowa, Utah, and Arkansas in passing bills which stipulate that, rather than flowing directly to public schools, state education dollars must follow the student. West Virginia and Arizona passed choice bills in 2021 and 22 respectively. Bill McGurn says, “More may be coming. Four other states — Oklahoma, Ohio, Wyoming, and Texas have legislation pending.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been traveling the state touting school choice.
In North Carolina, Democrat Representative Trish Cotham recently switched to Republican, saying, “On issues like school choice…we have to evolve.” Hers could be the vote that gives choice legislation a veto-proof majority.
To quote Cory De Angelis, “The dominoes are falling.”