School choice gives opportunity, hope to students and their families

October 30, 2014

by Nick Novak

Originally published by The Washington Times.

More than 300 million people live in the United States and not one of us is the same. So, why do bureaucrats in Washington and our state capitals insist on having a one-size-fits-all education system?

For some of us, it works great. I am a product of public schools – from kindergarten all the way through my time at the University of Wisconsin. But just because it worked for me, that does not mean it will work for everyone.

That is why states should be applauded for implementing and expanding school choice. After all, every student – no matter where they come from or what their background is – should have the opportunity to go to the school that best fits their needs and gives them the chance to succeed later in life.

Denisha Merriweather recently heralded the Florida tax-credit scholarship program for low-income students as the reason for her success in a Wall Street Journal column. Denisha had been held back in school twice by the time she got to the fourth grade. She said that D’s and F’s were normal and “learning became a nightmare.”

Everything turned around for her in sixth grade, though. She enrolled in a local private school in Jacksonville, Florida, with the help of the state’s scholarship program. Without it, Denisha said her family would not have been able to afford the $5,200 annual tuition.

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