Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Congressional School Choice Caucus Brings Focus Back to Students

The newly formed Congressional School Choice Caucus held its first meeting yesterday at our nation’s capital. The caucus, created by longtime educational choice advocate Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), works to promote school choice policies at the federal level and bring educational options to even more families nationwide.

During the inaugural meeting, the caucus heard from those who matter the most when it comes to education and school choice – parents and students.

Parents from a wide variety of schools in D.C. discussed their experiences with school choice in the District and described the impact that choice has had on their children and family. 

Parents discussing their experience with school choice during the first Congressional School Choice Caucus meeting. 
Adrienne Lynch has three daughters, two who have matriculated through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program and one who still attends private school thanks to the program. Adrienne was fortunate enough to receive a private school education and knew that she wanted her children to have the same high-caliber education she received. She was able to do so through the D.C.OSP. She said this program and being able to choose the school her children attend has been “empowering” and “a blessing.”

Diedra Henry-Spires lives in a mixed income community in southeast D.C. Her son, Solomon, attended the local public school, but also suffered from sporadic hearing that sometimes hampered his learning. After difficulty with personalizing his education at his school, Diedra and her husband searched for an option that would suit Solomon’s needs. They decided to send him to a public charter school in the area and within a week the school was able to specifically target ways to improve Solomon’s speech and learning. Diedra says “We fought for flexibility that we didn't have at our local public school” and they were able to obtain it through educational choice.

Congressman Messer summed it up best when he said “We cannot rest as a nation until every child walks into a classroom or experiences a learning environment where they are truly going to learn.” The development of this caucus is a great step to help continue to foster the momentum surrounding school choice and help in the quest to bring quality educational options to every child in our country – no matter what. 

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