There are still places in America where schools are closed. Despite a promise by Joe Biden that he’d have them open in his first 100 days (by April 30), teachers’ unions in many places have no intention of opening schools.
The selfish response to the pandemic by teachers’ unions, who have left children at home dealing with the mental distress of isolation, has opened the eyes of many parents and politicians who are now fighting back.
You’ve read a lot about West Virginia Governor Jim Justice here lately, and that’s because he’s leading a charge to make the state part of America’s “growth corridor.” Plans for lower taxes, and a strong commitment to the Second Amendment, are part of what makes the Mountain State desirable for Liberty Retirees.
Now, Justice and the West Virginia legislature are working hard to protect parents and kids from teachers’ unions by creating a school choice program in the state. The Wall Street Journal writes:
The pandemic has been a revelation for many Americans about union control of public schools that refuse to reopen. That awakening is helping to spur some welcome reform progress as several state legislatures are moving to expand school choice.
One breakthrough is in West Virginia, where the Legislature passed a bill creating the state’s first education savings account (ESA) program. GOP Gov. Jim Justice signed it on Saturday. The law requires the state to set up ESAs by July 2022.
The funds would first be available to students currently enrolled in public school or about to enter kindergarten, with no cap on the number who can qualify. In 2026 private- and home-schoolers could be eligible if program participation is less than 5% of statewide public-school enrollment. The state education department estimates students will receive about $4,600 each—the average amount of state per-pupil aid—in the program’s first year. Families can use the funds for private-school tuition, tutors and more. “This is a program that is funding kids,” says state Sen. Patricia Rucker.
West Virginia isn’t the only state putting kids and parents ahead of radical teachers’ unions. The Journal continues:
Meanwhile in Georgia, the House passed a bill last week that would expand eligibility for the state’s voucher program for special-education students. The Senate, which had already passed the legislation, voted to approve House amendments on Monday and the bill is headed to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.
In South Dakota this month, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill that expands eligibility for the state’s tax-credit scholarship program to students already enrolled in private schools. Last school year the program provided nearly 800 students with scholarships of about $1,800.
The teachers unions remain powerful, as demonstrated in Kentucky, where Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill last week that would establish a new tax-credit scholarship program. But the state legislature voted late Monday to override the veto, meaning low- and middle-income families will have access to a scholarship fund of up to $25 million financed by tax-credit-backed private donations.
Families could use their portion toward private education in the state’s most populated counties, and for tutoring and other expenses elsewhere. The bill would also allow public-school students to switch school districts.
Two Arizona bills to expand tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts have passed the Senate and are now in the House. An Indiana bill creating an ESA program passed the House, as it has in Missouri. A Florida bill that would consolidate state scholarship programs into ESAs for some 200,000 students is still percolating in the Senate.
Nearly 50 school-choice bills have been introduced this year in 30 states. It’s a testament to how school shutdowns have made the advantage of education choice more evident, and its need more urgent.
Would you rather live in a state that takes more of your money, denies you the freedom to defend yourself, and holds your children hostage to the demands of an organized racket that only cares about its members? Or would you rather live in a state that protects you, gives you freedom, and leaves your earnings alone?
Action Line: The choice is obvious. If you’re living in a state that doesn’t respect you, your money, or your children, you need to look for a better America, today.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.