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National School Choice Week Starts Today!

This week more than 11,000 events will be held nationwide in celebration of school choice.

Also, for the first time ever, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing January 25-30, 2015, as National School Choice Week to help improve awareness of the benefits of greater opportunities in education. More than 100 governors, mayors, and county leaders are also expected to pass similar resolutions.

It is interesting to note that while more and more states are abandoning the DC-driven Common Core ship, new and expanded parental choice programs are proliferating. For example, Arizona is just one of the many states considering dumping Common Core and replacing it with expanded parental choice in education. This past week, the Arizona House Education Committee approved an expansion to its education savings account program so students being raised by their grandparents would now be eligible.

Under Arizona’s ESA program, parents who don’t prefer a public school for their child simply inform the state education agency, promise not to enroll their child during the current school year, and 90 percent of what the state would have sent to the school district is instead deposited into a designated account for that child. Parents can use those funds for education expenses such as tuition, online courses, and tutoring. Any leftover funds remain in the child’s ESA and can be used for future education expenses such as college tuition.

Individualized options are what parents want and what students need—not more one-size-fits-all schemes from Washington.

Want to contact your elected officials to let them know you support parental choice in education? Visit National School Choice Week’s official website here.

Vicki E. Alger is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Senior Fellow and Director of the Women for School Choice Project at the Independent Women’s Forum. She is the author of the Independent book, Failure.
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