- January 14, 2014
National School Choice Week is quite the event.
Actually, it’s quite the 5,500-plus events.
From January 26 to February 1, parents and students across the country will hold and participate in over 5,500 events demonstrating their passion for educational opportunity. Some are planning huge rallies or special award ceremonies for outstanding students and teachers in their communities, while others are throwing a pizza party or potluck to host talks on school choice.
But while School Choice Week is made up of thousands of unique gatherings, they share one goal: to celebrate school choice where it exists and to demand it where it does not.
School choice programs make it easier for parents to choose their children’s education, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Scholarship programs allow low-income parents to escape failing schools and send their children to private schools at a reduced cost. Scholarship tax credits grant taxpayers full or partial tax credits when they donate to nonprofits that provide private school scholarships.
All of these programs have helped families who would otherwise have no choice but to send their students to their local public school, regardless of whether or not that school best fits their children’s’ needs.
In many cases, school choice has benefited families with special needs students. Andrea Robertson’s daughter, Lexie, has made incredible strides thanks to the structure and consistency she receives at her private school. But the state school board is trying to block a new education savings account program that enables parents like Andrea to supplement their children’s education with things like tutoring and private school tuition.
To celebrate National School Choice Week, the Institute for Justice annually teams up with Washington, D.C.’s Children and Youth Investment Trust to host a carnival for the students who participate in the Trust’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. At the event, children and their families have a chance to perform for their peers, play games and win books while enjoying lunch.
We are coupling this year’s celebration with an application event so that prospective families can sign their children up for the program and witness first-hand how having a choice in education means happier, healthier, more successful children.
National School Choice Week advocates for the most viable option to fix the country’s education system−adding market mechanisms to an industry that has almost none. By educating Americans from coast to coast and encouraging them to hold their own events, National School Choice Week has created the country’s biggest celebration of education reform.
If you are interested in getting involved in National School Choice Week by holding your own event, you can do so by clicking here.
No event is too small for a cause this great.
-- Phil Applebaum
Phil Applebaum is a Maffucci Fellow at the Institute for Justice