Texas Governor Greg Abbott has made school choice a cornerstone of his legislative agenda. His push for curriculum transparency and state-funded education savings accounts for Texas parents will give children the education they need to succeed in the 21st century. Governor Abbott’s plan would ensure that parents could spend their tax dollars at a school of their choice, and Texans support it. A recent poll by the University of Houston found that a majority of Texans including 65% of Blacks and 54% of Latinos support education freedom.
The simple fact is that school choice works, and Abbott is on the right track with his efforts to empower Texas parents. Studies show that children living in states with school choice score better both on standardized tests and in their classes. These students are also more likely to complete their education, and studies suggest that school choice and charter schools can result in an increase in lifetime earnings down the road.
By returning public education tax dollars to Texas parents, Abbott is helping to put families and communities — not government bureaucrats — back in charge of their children’s education. Parents and families are uniquely situated to know what type of education they need to meet their individual needs. Empowering them to make decisions with their education dollars will add some much-needed competition to America’s education system.
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We’ve also seen the explosion of far-left ideologies taking over our nation’s schools, including critical race theory, the 1619 Project, gender ideology, biological males in female bathrooms and sports, senseless vaccine mandates, extended school closures and more.
Parents want an honest teaching of our history for their children — including the good, the bad and the ugly — free from political biases and radical agendas. By introducing school choice measures, Abbott is empowering parents to fight back against left-wing ideological agendas in our schools and remove their children from what they deem unhealthy influences.
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These are just a few of the reasons that most of the American public supports school choice. According to RealClear Opinion Research, 71% of American voters favor parental school choice efforts, including 73% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats.
I know from firsthand experience the importance of a quality education in a child’s life. Although my brother Curtis and I were raised by a single mother in Detroit, she worked hard to make sure we knew the value of learning. My mother never received more than a third-grade education, but she knew that in order for my brother and me to succeed, we would have to learn the value of education. She used to make us stay inside and read books while the other kids were out playing and submit book reports to her, which she would then mark up with a red pen. We didn’t know it then, but she couldn’t even read our essays — she just marked them up in the hopes that we would try even harder.
Of course, when we were young, we didn’t understand why we had to read books while the other kids were out playing. But something about it must have worked: my brother became a rocket scientist, and I became a brain surgeon. Only in America is a story like mine possible, where an inner-city kid grows up to become a neurosurgeon, a presidential candidate, and a cabinet secretary. Our nation is still the land of the free, and the opportunities unlocked by education remain one of the greatest blessings America has to offer.
Just like my own mother, Abbott realizes that education is the pathway to opportunity for Texas’ children. Allowing families — not teachers’ unions, bureaucrats, school boards and Zip Codes — to decide where to send their children will empower students to receive the education that best suits their unique needs.
As Americans, we are responsible for preparing our children with the tools they need to succeed. School choice is a major step in that direction, and I applaud Abbott for his efforts to put Texas parents back in charge of their children’s education.
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