With the wave of school closures stemming from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, parents have increasingly advocated for school choice during the 2020-2021 school year.
Similar to parents across the nation speaking out against Common Core Standards in 2013, we are witnessing a sleeping giant of parents wake up and demand school choice so their children are able to learn in person.
As we begin to celebrate National School Choice week, parents from across the country are organizing in their communities to advocate for pro-student policies. Some groups are even holding weekly gatherings, hosting protests during board meetings, and reaching out to their legislators to answer their cries for help.
In November, Virginia State Delegate Michael Webert, Dist. 18 Republican, filed a crucial piece of legislation that would give parents in Virginia control over the money put towards their child’s education. Mr. Webert’s bill, H.B. 1742, gives families emergency financial relief during the pandemic if school districts do not offer students access to in-person instruction.
Despite calls to support the bill from Virginia voters, however, it appears families in Virginia will fall victim to a revolting display of party politics. The bill that would put emergency education vouchers in the hands of families has been stopped dead in its tracks by the Democrat-controlled state legislature.
This is sadly not the first example of politicians and their allies interfering with parents who wish to have control over the education of their children. While debates regarding education should leave aside partisanship for the sake of helping our youth, party elites and teacher union groups are selfishly working to promote their own interests at the expense of those who they claim to serve: the nation’s children.
Although too many legislators view students as mere feathers in their political cap, it’s encouraging that some politicians are starting to see the damaging consequences of distance learning percolating to the surface. A safe return to in-person schooling can happen, as thousands of school districts have shown- it can be done.