My kids love National School Choice Week, which sadly ends tomorrow. They get new yellow scarves, big stickers, and some years, they even got to join me at a school choice rally. But the national, nonpartisan celebration of all educational options is about more than just scarves and statehouse rallies. The number of events has grown each year (see below for pictures of our participation in events in Austin, Texas; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Denver, Colorado; Manalapan, New Jersey; and Washington, DC– just some of the more than 20,000 events expected this week). This highlights how all parents, regardless of how and where they choose to educate their children, appreciate having that choice.
But while the celebration is ending, the work is just beginning. My desk is piled high with school choice bills being worked on by me or my colleagues. I encourage you to find out what bills are moving forward in your state (see below for a detailed summary of New York’s executive budget) so that you can get involved. To learn more about existing school choice programs around the country click here to view the latest copy of The ABC’s of School Choice recently published by EdChoice.
On the federal level, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos, is facing strong opposition from those opposed to school choice. A vote on her confirmation is scheduled for next week. If you haven’t done so already, please contact your U. S. Senators and ask them to support her nomination. Agudath Israel has worked with Mrs. DeVos for many years and submitted a letter of support.
Finally, please watch our latest installment of Agudah Live! and let me know what you think. The “inauguration interview with Rabbi Zwiebel” covers issues related to Israel, religious freedom and education. We hope to create similar video interviews throughout the year and would love to get your feedback on the format.
–A. D. Motzen