There was a lot of discussion about discrimination in the hearing on HB 20, The Richard “Dick” Hinch Education Freedom Accounts bill. To that point, T. Willard Fair is president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Greater Miami. He is a Civil Rights leader who advocates for school choice.
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He wrote a column for USA Today which reads in part: “We know that far too many black children are sitting in classrooms where they are not learning. We know their schools have fewer resources. We know expectations for these children are set lower than the expectations for students in more affluent suburban schools.”
He goes on to say, “Once we were told where we could live and work, play and pray, eat and gather. I find it no more acceptable that today we are told where our children can go to school.”
If we are going to have a sincere discussion about equity in education it begins with Education Freedom. Education opportunity is so much more than a k-12 education. Receiving the right education opens doors to opportunity for children across all walks of life.
Education choice can lift children out of poverty and set them on the path for success that would be otherwise out of reach.
I live in Manchester which is a very diverse community. Some of our state representatives have taken to social media to discuss this bill. They have boasted about their private school education and have had the audacity to state only children that come from families that can afford a private education should have that privilege.
These same people are offended by the fact that parents would choose a school other than a traditional public school and deny the child’s sending district the state adequacy funds attributed to that child. However, they ignore the fact that their own families made the same choice.
They believe our poorer families, our refugee families, and our most vulnerable students should not have the same opportunities that they themselves have had.
I could not disagree more. In fact, it is those children who deserve a hand up. All children deserve the opportunity to pursue the right education for them. If a child is being challenged and is supported in their traditional school that is wonderful.
Many families benefit from our traditional public schools and will continue to do so. But some children do better in less traditional settings like charter schools, Montessori schools, private schools or homeschool.
School choice is about each family finding the right fit where their child will grow to be the person God intended them to be.
I have read so much misinformation about this bill. I find it incredibly troubling that fear-mongering is being used to prevent people from understanding the truth about this important piece of legislation.
It is especially troubling coming from those considered leaders in the field of education. Even in the committee, the difference between vouchers and education savings accounts were explained to the legislators and yet committee members continued to use the incorrect terminology simply because it stirs a negative response within their political circles.
This hearing was adjourned and will reconvene on Thursday, February 11th at 9:00 a.m.
You can sign up in support of HB 20 through the NH General Court website. Please sign up or call the House Education Committee and ask them to vote in favor of empowering all NH families.
Ask them to provide educational opportunities for all children especially our most vulnerable students. Ask them to stand up against the fear-mongering and bullying tactics, push the special interest groups aside, and take a stand for NH’s children.