Just give us a choice

Knowing that Richmond County's superintendent of public schools sends his daughter to a private school, do you sense some incongruity there?

You shouldn't.

Dr. Dana Bedden's decision to enroll his special-needs sixth-grader in a private Christian school in no way shows a lack of faith in the quality of education that pupils can get in Augusta public schools.

Instead, it shows vividly the importance of school choice.

As an educator and a parent, Bedden decided what he felt is best for his daughter's future. Besides, he didn't do anything that other parents don't have the right to do under the new Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act.

Signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue in May, it allows the state to give an average of $9,000 to parents who want to send special-education pupils to any schools, private or public, that the parents choose.

But shouldn't all parents have that opportunity - for all our children?

It is absolutely astounding that Americans have the freedom to make virtually any consumer decision they want about which goods or services they use, but they lack the freedom to render one of the most important decisions that parents can make: which schools their children should attend.

Bedden shouldn't be merely a practitioner of school choice in Richmond County. He should be its loudest advocate.

That's what the school-choice movement needs: strong voices to shake up lawmakers and prove to them that parents should have the right to decide what's best for their children. All Georgians don't have that now, but the Special Needs Scholarship Act is a great jumping-off point. That kind of assistance needs to be offered to every pupil in Georgia.

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Sun, 12/04/2016 - 18:09

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