This may be a once in a lifetime occurrence in the General Assembly so ya’ll may want to pay attention. I am cosponsoring a bill with my good friend, Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston). Many times I have butted heads with Sen. Ford. The definition of marriage, pork barrel spending, gambling, & capital punishment to name a few. Our voting records would probably show the most differences than any other two members of the Legislature. Yet, today, we’ve found an issue that we both feel passionate about; school choice.
This week, Sen. Ford introduced a bill (S. 520) that would allow parents more options in education. This bill gives a fraction of the total expenditures to a tax credit to families that are trapped in a failing school. On average, we spend over $ 11,000 per student per year on education. This bill gives a tax credit to parents that want to try a different approach for their child. Choice and competition gives students more options as well as it gives school districts incentives to improve.
The Washington Post printed an interesting article: What if Ty’Sheoma Bethea had a choice? “Ty’Sheoma is the young lady who sat with first lady Michelle Obama when President Obama spoke to Congress Tuesday night. She had reached the president through a letter about her school, the ceiling that leaks, the walls that shake when trains go by, the poor education it provides. She warmed his heart and ours…With choice, Ty’Sheoma’s family could evaluate a school, review the programs and the data on school performance. Ty’Sheoma could choose to attend a school that worked for her…Read the full article here