Celebrating National School Choice Week: John Schilling

Invest in Education Blog Post

This week America celebrates National School Week. In a time where we are divided on so many issues, we celebrate school choice, an issue that enjoys the highest level of support across the political spectrum of most any public policy issue.  Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Millennials, and most of all, K-12 Parents – urban, rural, suburban – all strongly support school choice.

This will be the first time since 2019 where supporters will have in-person school choice week events throughout the country, including in our nation’s capital where students, parents, advocates, and Members of Congress will gather to celebrate and promote educational freedom and choice.

Today, close to 700,000 students in 31 states and Washington, D.C. are benefitting in one of 61 tax credit scholarship, voucher, or Education Savings Account (ESA) programs.  More than 3.5 million students are being educated in charter schools.  Magnet schools and micro-schools are thriving in states all over the country.  More children than ever before are in homeschools where there has been a dramatic increase over the past two years.

This is school choice, driven by parents who are demanding more and better educational options from their state and federal policymakers.

The new 118th Congress has an opportunity to pass landmark legislation that would supercharge educational freedom in America by helping up to two million additional students in all 50 states. The Educational Choice for Children Act (ECCA) is a $10 billion federal scholarship tax credit that would directly empower parents to make the best education choices for their children.  Last year, this bill had more cosponsors in the House and Senate than any other school choice bill and it was included in the House Republicans’ “Commitment to America” as the legislative vehicle to directly empower parents and significantly expand school choice in America.

The ECCA is a bill for America’s lower- and middle-income parents who are already making the decision to leave their government-assigned public schools. The ECCA will be re-introduced this week in the House by Representatives Adrian Smith and Burgess Owens, and in the Senate by Senators Bill Cassidy and Tim Scott.

Coming out of a pandemic which created massive learning loss for millions of students and unprecedented frustration for millions of parents, providing greater educational freedom by expanding school choice across the country has never been more urgent.  As we celebrate National School Choice Week, let’s encourage state and federal policymakers to put parents and students first.  Listen to America’s parents and give them the freedom to make the best education decisions for their children.