Education union bosses need to get out of the way of universal school choice

“Big Education” Union Bosses and their minions are hard at work spreading fear and false information about Senate Bill 1038, Freedom in Education Savings Accounts.

Powerful education unions cling to their monopoly control of education and seem more interested in indoctrinating your children with their leftist ideology than teaching them. They fear that with the passage of SB 1038, families will finally have the financial resources and freedom to choose the best education for their children. They worry there will be a mass exodus from public schools but fail to mention that if you like your public school, you can keep it.

Anti-school-choice cheerleaders use the term “vouchers” to mislead people about SB 1038. The bill creates Education Savings Accounts that offer a more customized and flexible approach to education, giving families the power to make decisions that best serve their child’s individual needs. Money can be used to pay for a broader range of education-related expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, and tutoring. On the other hand, vouchers provide government-funded scholarships specifically for private school tuition, are limited in their usage, and come with restrictions. ESAs prioritize the student and their success, while vouchers prioritize the institutions they support.

Fearmongering about the possible demise of rural schools is a tired tactic of the anti-schoolchoice crowd. Rural communities deserve access to quality education just as much as urban communities. By allowing funds to follow students, ESAs will ensure every child can access the education that best fits their needs and abilities regardless of where they live.

The Blaine Amendment is often cited as a reason to block school choice. The amendment discriminates against religious schools but, fortunately, has been ruled moot by the Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana. Anti-choice advocates know this but continue to use it to oppose universal school choice. It’s a dishonest argument.

The Freedom in Education Savings Accounts bill gives families more freedom to choose the best education for their children. Opposition to the bill comes from those more interested in promoting their woke agenda than educating kids. Giving families the freedom to choose the best education for their children is what Idaho school kids need and deserve.

The Idaho Freedom Caucus calls on those interested in universal education freedom to support this critical bill. It will be before a full senate hearing on Tuesday, February 14. You can sign up to testify here: https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2023/standingcommittees/SEDU.

This was written by Rep. Heather Scott and Sen. Tammy Nichols, co-chairs of the Idaho Freedom Caucus, which is part of a nationwide network proving conservatives the resources to challenge the status quo and to hold the establishment accountable.

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