Daily Caller: REP. AARON BEAN: My School Choice Bill Will Empower Children And Families

Rep. Aaron Bean, Contributor, The Daily Caller – January 24, 2024

I firmly believe that ensuring access to quality education for every student is not just a policy discussion – it is a moral obligation.

Our children are our future, and as Chairman of the Education & Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary & Secondary Education, I will continue to fight for school choice in Congress as a means to expand education freedom and opportunity for every student. 

This is why I am a co-sponsor of the Educational Choice for Children Act (ECCA), a legislative initiative that will help parents of up to two million students across the country access a school or education service that best meets their child’s needs. The ECCA stands as a symbol of hope for many families, who would receive scholarships through private donations that could be used for tuition, tutoring, technology or special needs services. These scholarships have the power to bridge the gap and level the playing field for students who otherwise would be left behind. 

Jan. 21 marked the beginning of National School Choice Week – a week dedicated to spreading awareness of the importance of allowing parents access to more choices in order to give their children a quality education. This nationwide celebration is meant to empower our children and families to take advantage of the education options that they have from a young age and move toward successful futures. 

The early years of a child’s education are pivotal, shaping the trajectory of their lives. Each student has a unique set of needs and strengths, which can be addressed by the variety of schools across the country that offer distinct educational approaches. Congressional action is necessary to provide access to a broader array of K-12 options that are currently inaccessible for far too many Americans, who instead must send their children to the only choice they can afford – their government-assigned public school. 

The one-size-fits-all mentality of assigning students to specific schools based solely on their ZIP code can have vast negative impacts on their educational outcomes, especially for underprivileged families who lack the means to access additional tutoring and support. As a result of this system-over-students approach, education inequity persists. 

The positive impacts can be seen in the countless success stories from states that have already embraced school choice. We need look no further than Florida—an early pioneer of education freedom. In my home state of Florida we have led the nation in expanding universal school choice, successfully giving parents a greater role in their child’s education and ensuring every student has access to a quality education. Thanks to a sustained commitment by my colleagues in the Florida State Legislature, more students are able to choose the best educational opportunity to match their unique needs and help them thrive academically. But we can and must do more in every state to directly empower parents, so they too can provide their children with the same opportunities for success.

There is no question that school choice works for parents and students. Voters know this. A Dec. 2023 RealClear Opinion Research poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters and found that candidates’ support of school choice makes voters more likely to support them.

Seventy-six percent of voters overall say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports school choice. This includes 86 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of Democrats, and 67 percent of independents. 

I encourage my fellow lawmakers on Capitol Hill to join the many House and Senate co-sponsors in advocating for the passage of the Educational Choice for Children Act this year. Our children’s success depends on our unwavering support and commitment to giving them the futures they deserve.

 Aaron Bean has represented Florida’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2023.

Read the full article published by the Daily Caller here.