Every child deserves an equal opportunity to learn. Yet today millions of children across our nation find themselves trapped in failing schools, barring them from the chance to receive the education they need to climb out of poverty and up the economic ladder.
All parents and students who want educational choice should have it. Yet in Texas alone, 105,000 kids are waiting to be admitted to charter schools, and throughout the nation, more than a million children await acceptance into charter schools.
While there remains an enormous task before us to give every child access to a quality education, I am encouraged by progress that has been made in my home state of Texas. Since 2000, the number of charter schools in Texas has more than tripled. And currently before the Texas Legislature are significant measures that will continue to expand school choice across our state.
The facts are unequivocal – school choice improves students’ test scores, keeps them in school longer, saves taxpayer dollars, provides a safer learning environment, and increases competition and quality in traditional public schools. School choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century – it’s opening doors for children to pursue their talents and ambitions, and it’s providing some of our poorest students a ticket to a better life and more promising future.
Now is the time to open the gateway of opportunity to children across the country. We need to expand charters, vouchers, education savings account programs, and educational options for all children, regardless of their race, ethnicity or zip code.
Today, Texans are rallying in Austin to raise awareness for the opportunities the Texas Legislature has this session to make meaningful inroads in further expanding school choice across our state. I stand in support of them and proudly stand with our state leaders, like Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and many others who are working hard to make the dream of education equality a reality.
Together, we can unlock the gates of opportunity, and unleash the potential of every child to become the next success story in our nation’s long history of exceptionalism.