I was disappointed to learn recently that the Macon County School Board decided to join a lawsuit that would prevent working-class parents from participating in the Opportunity Scholarship Program (providing scholarship for their children to attend private school). I state that it is disappointing because, according to the state Department of Public Instruction, only 35.1 percent of kids from low-income families in Macon County schools are considered “proficient” in math and reading. This means just over one out of every three economically disadvantaged students met basic standards in their zoned public school.
Simply put, the vast majority of our children from low-income communities in Macon County are failing to learn the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Why then seek to halt a program, that hasn’t even started yet, to begin where the very existence of the Opportunity Scholarship Program is designed for the student that happens to be low-income?
Our children’s future should not be a right or left issue, or even a public school or private school issue. Bottom-line: The real issue should be that our state works to make sure families, regardless of their income or zip code, have a school that will work for their children. Parents do not necessarily care about the make or model of a school (public, nonpublic or charter) they just want a school that works. Now more than ever, our state must get about the business of providing quality options for all children - our very future depends upon it.
President of Parents for Educational Freedom in North