Fall must be coming – it’s the season of block parties in our little village. Neighborhood kids savor the last days of summer, parents purchase school supplies and Packer jerseys once again become the uniform of the weekend. Our five-year-old son Griff soon heads to our neighborhood school for kindergarten after spending two years at a fantastic private school. When considering his educational path, my husband and I looked at all of our options – private, parochial, and even homeschooling. We deliberated, discussed and ultimately decided on our public school, but we are also aware of the many options we have should Griff not thrive at this school.
Many families don’t have this wide array of options. I cannot imagine being a mother in a neighborhood where the school is failing my child, or even worse, dangerous to attend. There’s no chance I’d send my little son to a school where he’d miss out on learning basic skills like reading, and be exposed to days full of apathy towards education at best, violence on campus at worst. How fortunate I am to have choices… Why don’t all parents have that freedom?
School Choice Leads to Informed Citizens
Leading proponents of school choice Terry Moe and John Chubb were supported early on by the Bradley Foundation as part of the visionary approach to changing educational policy in Milwaukee and around the country. Their research provided empirical data to two other school choice pioneers, Milton and Rose Friedmann. Their works revolutionized my way of thinking about educational policy – how can we not promote more choice in education? We have so many ways to teach, and each system benefits some kids better than others. Parents should be able to look at a menu of options and choose the best educational fit for their child regardless of financial or geographic barriers. It seemed then, as it does now, that to be against school choice is to be against children having the best chance to become informed citizens. I do not understand how it can be argued otherwise, and I know from the generous giving patterns of many of our Bradley Impact Fund donors, many feel the same way.
From supporting direct scholarships to understanding the importance of funding those like Moe and Chubb and the Friedmanns in the early years of education reform, the Bradley Foundation – and now Bradley Impact Fund donors – continue to invest wisely in advancing educational choice in the hopes that it will ultimately benefit all Americans as individuals and support a vital, informed citizenry. I invite you to learn more about our investments in educational choice and cultivation of an engaged, inspired citizenry by reviewing this year’s Labor Day issue of our Impact Brief.