Forstmann Launches New Campaign

Published July 1, 2001

Children’s Scholarship Fund co-founder Ted Forstmann earlier this year launched a new national, nonprofit organization called Parents in Charge to encourage a wider debate about the real problems and possibilities of the American K-12 educational system.

Backed by a recent survey showing that almost 82 percent of Americans believe parents–not the government–should be in charge of their children’s education, PIC will undertake a national campaign to provide information on the value of a market-based education system in expanding educational opportunities for all families.

“In America, people are free to make all sorts of decisions in every other area of their lives except education,” said Forstmann at the National Press Club in Washington, DC in April. “We are here today,” he continued, “because we believe that parents should be in charge of their children’s education: deciding where their children go to school, who teaches them, and what they learn.”

Martin Luther King III, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and PIC board member, agreed, noting the one-supplier system of public education had become “a huge bureaucracy” which must be challenged. Fairness demands that “every child, not just the rich, has access to an education that will help them achieve their dreams,” he declared.

“It’s time to let education look like the rest of America,” added Forstmann. “The democratic principles of freedom, competition, and choice should be applied to K through 12 education just as they are to our university system, which is the envy of the world.”

Other PIC board members and co-chairs include Joseph A. Califano, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; Dr. Guy Doud, former National Teacher of the Year; William J. Bennett, former Reagan Secretary of Education; Erskine B. Bowles, former White House Chief of Staff; Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Pastor, Allen AME Church; The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger; U.S. Senator John McCain; The Honorable Andrew Young; and Washington, DC grandmother Rose Blassingame, who is putting her three grandchildren through private school with assistance from the Children’s Scholarship Fund.

For more information . . .

about Parents in Charge, including details of the SWR Worldwide poll, “American Attitudes in Education,” visit the PIC website at