Center’s School Choice Message Sprouts Roots

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Recently, two prominent Rhode Island politicians have publicly supported our Center’s long-time policy idea – even echoing our own language – to advance educational freedom for Providence families and all parents across our state.

For years, behind the scenes, I have been advising politicians and candidates – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – on the benefits of educational scholarship accounts (ESAs). And now, with the high-profile crisis in the government-run schools in Providence, some of our work is starting to bubble up.

House GOP Minority Leader, Blake Filippi, at a chamber of commerce event last week spoke boldly about the need to empower parents with the freedom to choose the school of their preference for their kids, who cannot afford to wait for the long-term reforms that may or may not succeed.

Also, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate from Rhode Island, Allen Waters, has come out in favor of increasing educational options for parents, by openly supporting school choice in our state, as well as the President’s Educational Freedom & Opportunity Scholarship Act.

In past years, Democrat Representative, Ray Hull, was the primary sponsor of our ESA legislation; himself, a beneficiary of being able to attend a private, parochial school.

It is very encouraging to see our ideas finally taking some root. Depending on whether or not the new Education Commissioner and the Superintendent of Providence Schools are true reformers … will determine whether or not educational freedom will truly grow to fruition in Rhode Island.