Educational Freedom Upholds Parents’ Rights and Allows Students to Thrive
With so many schools across the country engaging in activism and radical indoctrination, school choice is more important than ever. In Wisconsin, the Madison Metropolitan School District is introducing this week a “gender identity and sexual orientation curriculum.” Students will learn about “different identities, which include gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and sexual orientation,” according to an email sent to parents last week.
“We will be using our morning meeting time to do read-alouds and classroom discussions based around these topics. We will end the week with a rainbow day on Friday!” reads the district email.
Parents must be able to protect their children from these dangerous lies and ideas, and school choice allows them to do so.
This week is National School Choice week—an opportunity to highlight the importance of educational freedom and bring awareness to the educational options that families have in our state. It is a parent’s right to choose whichever schooling option best serves their child’s needs. This educational freedom also helps students thrive.
In Wisconsin, we take education freedom seriously. From open enrollment to brick and mortar and virtual charter schools to our three voucher programs to homeschooling, we believe parents, regardless of zip code or income, should be able to get their children out of a failing school and into a school that works for him or her.
Each student in Wisconsin is assigned a district based on their address. While the majority of families send their children to the school in their district, there are many other options. There are school choice programs for private schools, charter schools, virtual schools, and open enrollment (non-resident public school). Parents can also choose from dual enrollment options (college coursework while enrolled in high school), course options (advanced coursework taken in coordination with a local school district), and home-based private education.
Wisconsin offers the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the Racine Parental Choice Program and the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program—all of which are part of what most people call the “school voucher” option. These programs allow income-qualified families to send their children to private schools—including Christian schools—participating in Choice (voucher) Programs. Parents can apply to be part of a school choice program. Registration begins in February 1 for Wisconsin’s Choice Programs and runs through April 20, 2023.
Wisconsin also has one of the best homeschooling laws in the country. Parents are not burdened by overbearing restrictions as they are in some states. There are no required teacher qualifications or assessments.
While Wisconsin is leading the nation when it comes to school choice, there is always room for improvement. Universal choice, much like Arizona’s recent initiative, would provide Wisconsin families even more educational freedom. Incomes and zip codes should not determine who gets to take advantage of our educational options.
Thankfully, representatives across the country are working to uphold parents’ rights when it comes to educational freedom. Lawmakers in Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, and Georgia are actively proposing initiatives this legislative session that will expand schooling options in their states. It’s time for Wisconsin to do the same. Governor Evers, if he’s really about “the kids” as he claims, needs to cooperate with the legislature and enact true educational freedom here in the form of “universal choice.”
It is parents’ right to direct their children’s education, and a large part of that is choosing where their children go to school. Parents know their children best, and therefore are best equipped to choose a learning environment that will best serve their children’s needs and protect them from ideas that contradict their deeply held beliefs. Let’s take advantage of this week by highlighting the many options that parents have for their children’s education while calling on our leaders to ramp up the school choice efforts even more.
NSCW’s website offers a several resources that teachers, parents, and organizations can use to promote and support school choice. SchoolChoiceWi.org is also a fantastic resource for parents in Wisconsin exploring alternative schooling options.