Frank Brown: School Choice Pioneer

Published October 1, 1998

On July 25, the school choice movement lost one of its longest-serving heroes when Frank Brown passed away at his home in Chicago. He was 88.

“Everyone at Citizens for Educational Freedom is most grateful for Frank’s dedication, scholarship, and active participation in the legislative process in Illinois and nationwide,” commented CEF president Mae Duggan. “He was a pioneer in the crusade for parental choice in education. Our sympathy and prayers go to Frank’s wife, Frances, and their six children.”

Over thirty years ago, Brown founded the National Association for Parental Rights in Education, through which he fought tirelessly on behalf of parents and schoolchildren. He was one of the first to call for child-centered education funding, whereby tax dollars would support the education of children in all schools, not just government schools. In Illinois, his leadership made possible the passage of voucher bills in the House on four separate occasions in the 1970s and 1980s. On all four occasions, the state Senate rejected what the House had approved.