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Common Sense On School Choice … In North Carolina




|| By FITSNEWS || In case you missed it there was a great school choice story out of North Carolina this week.  Brian Lewis – the former chief lobbyist for the North Carolina Association of Educators (a.k.a. the anti-choice lobby) – penned an opinion piece for The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer outlining his very personal conversion on this important issue.

“I was the front line of defense against all proposals before the General Assembly that would privatize public education, including tax credits for students with special needs, opportunity scholarships for children living in poverty and charter school expansion,” Lewis wrote. “I opposed all efforts to ‘drain funds from public schools,’ especially for private schools that I described as ‘unaccountable’ and ‘scams’ for the North Carolina taxpayer and the children they served.”

Sound familiar?  It should.  Because it’s the exact same language that’s been used for years to suppress parental choice here in the Palmetto State (very effectively, we might add).

So … what prompted Lewis to change his tune?

Well, as it turns out his daughter was struggling in a government-run school – not necessarily because it was a bad school, but for whatever reason it just wasn’t the right fit for his little girl.

So he had to make a change …

“We hit the wall … and came to the conclusion that public middle school was not the answer,” he wrote. “In fact, it was the problem.”

Wow … and that coming from the guy who defend the government-run system to the hilt.

The kicker from Lewis’ oped? When he addresses the cost angle – and the fundamental inability of the vast majority of parents to make the choice that’s best for their children.

“I can afford this option for my daughter, but what about the thousands of families, unlike me, who cannot afford tuition to send their child to a private school? Don’t their daughters’ struggles count, too?” he asked.  “The answer is they should.  Sadly, if I hadn’t had this very personal challenge, I could still be on the opposite side of the private school doors trying to keep them shut to parents who desperately need this option.”

Exactly … that is the school choice message as cleanly and concisely as we’ve ever seen it articulated.

From its inception, this website has fought for market-based reforms that would expand the ability of parents to use their own money to find an academic setting that worked best for their children.  Or give low-income parents scholarships to do the same.  Meanwhile well-paid lobbyists like Lewis have fought for … well, expanded government power.

And they’ve been aided and abetted by a liberal media conditioned to parrot their arguments …

Oh well … we’re glad to see Lewis has joined the side of the angels on this issue.  And more importantly, we’re glad his daughter has found the academic setting that’s best for her.

Now let’s make sure those same options are available to all parents …