Candidates for public office must make school choice a campaign priority.
In August 2022, I suggested that Republicans should make education reform a campaign issue. That certainly holds today, but if traditional parents are trapped in a school district that is immersed in all the au courant education fads, and school choice is not an option, they very well may be stuck. With that scenario in mind, school choice, whose era has arrived – in force – must become a campaign priority in every state where there is no educational freedom.
While this is an election off-year, with very few Senate or Congressional seats in play, many important state elections will be decided next month. For example, all 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly and the 40 seats in the State Senate are in play.
The National School Choice Week Foundation reported in early September that a record 19 states have said “yes” to expanding school choice in 2023. But that number can now be amended to 20, as North Carolina has just come on board, becoming the tenth state to approve universal school choice.Roy Cooper, the state’s Democratic Gov., says he won’t veto the bill passed by the legislature, not because he is in favor of it, but because Republicans have enough votes to override. Yes, the same Roy Cooperwho, in May, released a video declaring a state of emergency. “It’s clear,” he nonsensically claimed that “the Republican legislature is aiming to choke the life out of public education.”
Not surprisingly, polls indicate that school choice is a winning issue. An array of recent surveys – many commissioned by Democrats – show that choice is popular. As a result, the Dems have lost ground and credibility on K-12 school issues, which they have long dominated with voters.
As The 74’s Kevin Mahnken notes, the polls “were released by interest groups representing opposite ends of the center-left public policy spectrum … but both point to an electorate that is increasingly skeptical of the Democratic education brand and open to Republican counter-proposals.”
Mahnken adds that 47% of respondents said they trusted Republicans to handle public education today, compared with just 43% who trusted Democrats. And the gap widened among parents, who favored Republicans by nine points.
Yes, parents especially are in favor of choice, according to another poll from earlier this year.