Perhaps one of the most basic rights in any just society is the right of parents to raise their children, teaching them the values and life lessons that are so essential to their futures and best prepare them for their adult lives. One of the most important ways to help children succeed is to ensure them a good education. Parents know this, which is why so much of their time and money is spent on education-related activities, be it PTA meetings, back-to-school shopping, or helping their kids do their homework. Unfortunately, many children start with the cards stacked against them. Especially in low-income areas, they are forced into failing schools, where a small but dedicated cadre of heroic educators struggles against bureaucracy, low budgets, indifference, and a host of other problems. Private schools remain out of reach, institutions only for the wealthy. The children deserve better. The decision of which school a child should attend should not be determined based on a ZIP code or tax bracket, but should rather be put in the hands of those who are most familiar with the child and who most care about his or her success: the parents. In short: school choice.
So what could be wrong with giving parents their choice of school? Yet any attempt to advance vouchers or the like is met by strong opposition by the teachers unions, who fear relinquishing any power to the private sector, and by their allies in the Left. (Here’s a quick question: how many of those opposing school choice send their own children to elite private schools?) As it so happens, more than two-thirds of the American public disagree. Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is an encouraging sign. DeVos is a seasoned school choice advocate and will hopefully fight to allow parents a say in their own children’s education, rather than having their education dictated by zip code and government. Here’s wishing her luck.