The Covid crisis has reminded us of many things in New Jersey. One lesson we’ve re-learned: state government will happily seize unconstitutional power and tighten its grasp unless challenged by their own political party. And modern education does not work because it has a misplaced priority on unionized adults instead of the students. I urge us to take this Covid moment and change how we do education.
I believe children should not be required to attend failing school districts simply because of their zip code or financial status. In other words, I believe in Education Equality. Fourteen states recently passed bills approving Education Savings Accounts. This allows money to follow the student to whichever school the family determines is in the best interest of the child. Education Savings Accounts put the student first! It’s a parent driven, child-centered plan of education. How innovative!
New Jersey spends on average over $20,000 per pupil – the fourth highest in the nation behind New York, Washington DC, and Connecticut. Yet, with so much money invested in schools (notice I did not say in students – there is difference), the legislature and Governor Murphy are afraid to give parents a choice. They are aware of the data. According to Real Clear Opinion Research, 77% of people surveyed support school choice (educational equality).
This week, I had the opportunity to join school choice advocates from across the political spectrum. Together, we discussed how we can influence our legislature to put the health and future of children above the special interest of elections and political donations. In addition, I led a strategy conversation with key denominational and church affiliation leaders. We are working to mobilize the faith community to engage with their legislators on these issues: namely, to support parents’ rights in determining how and where their children are educated.
I look forward to making Education Equality a major emphasis of the 2021 elections. Candidates for office face a brutal and burdensome vetting process by the powerful New Jersey Education Association. Tragically, they fiercely oppose equal opportunities for students. Let us support those candidates who will give parents the ability to decide what is best for their children.
Let’s make New Jersey better!