While President Barack Obama talks incessantly about his commitment to giving all Americans a "fair shot," there always seems to be a nagging exception for children in failing schools (see the story of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program).
In a major education speech today, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney promised to put the needs of these students over the demands of teachers unions. He spoke about giving every child a "chance," and his proposals matched his rhetoric. Here is a taste:
As President, I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school. For the first time in history, federal education funds will be linked to a student, so that parents can send their child to any public or charter school, or to a private school, where permitted. And I will make that choice meaningful by ensuring there are sufficient options to exercise it.
To receive the full complement of federal education dollars, states must provide students with ample school choice. In addition, digital learning options must not be prohibited. And charter schools or similar education choices must be scaled up to meet student demand.
Instead of eliminating the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program as President Obama has proposed, I will expand it to offer more students a chance to attend a better school. It will be a model for parental choice programs across the nation.