We can all agree that every student in America has the right to a quality education. All students—regardless of wealth, status, or zip code—deserve to attend a world-class school, and no family should be forced to doom their child to fail in the classroom.
That’s why we need school choice programs. When we give parents back their tax dollars and empower them with the ability to send their child to a school that is right for them, we make a quality education more accessible, create a more inclusive economy, and ensure that all American children have an equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream. As a father, I know that’s what I want for each of my children.
Wisconsin boasts a proud history of providing families with expanded educational options—empowering them to decide which school works best for their child and his or her style of learning. The modern school choice movement was born right here in Wisconsin. In 1990, with great bipartisan support, the city of Milwaukee launched the transformative Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, offering private school vouchers to 350 underserved Milwaukee children to pursue a better education.
In 2013, Republicans took school choice statewide—launching the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program to provide more choices to more families across the Badger State. Today, nearly 30,000 students participate in parental choice programs in the city of Milwaukee, and more than 86,000 students are reaping the benefits of school choice statewide.
Without school choice, Wisconsin has a lot to lose. In addition to expanded opportunities for more than 86,000 children, students at choice schools demonstrate higher reading and math proficiency, are less likely to commit crimes, are more likely to graduate from high school and college.
Thankfully, Wisconsin’s tremendous legacy of expanding educational freedom has been protected under President Trump. For the past four years, President Trump put these 86,000 young minds first by championing school choice programs in the Badger State and across the country.
From the onset, the Trump Administration has made the act of expanding educational freedom a priority. He has called on Congress to pass school choice legislation to ensure our nation’s children are able to fulfill their God-given potential—including spearheading the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act, which would give the gift of school choice to 1 million children across the country. The Administration’s plan would mark a historic investment in America’s children in the form of a $5 billion annual tax credit for donations to state-based, locally controlled scholarships that will benefit countless families across the country.
President Trump also knows that school choice is the key civil rights issue of our time. Nearly two-thirds of black voters, whose children disproportionately are forced to attend underperforming schools, support school choice. As a black American, a father, and an involved member of my community, I can attest to this.
Yet a Joe Biden presidency presents a very real and direct threat to the futures of the 86,000 Wisconsin students who benefit from school choice programs. While Joe Biden supported charter schools early in his political career, it is clear that he has since caved to the far-left fringe of his party, and has vowed that charter schools—including the 236 schools of this kind in Wisconsin—would be “gone” with him in the Oval Office. Joe Biden has said that charter schools “[siphon] off money from our public schools” and claimed that they “[take] away the options available and money for public schools.” Yet expanded school choice across Wisconsin presents the opportunity for $3.2 billion in economic benefits—including nearly $500 million in additional tax revenue.
Joe Biden also repeatedly opposed the District of Columbia’s successful school-choice program—voting against giving low-income parents the choice to send their children to “higher-performing” D.C. schools in 1997, and against authorizing school choice for D.C. students citywide in 2003.
The fact is, Joe Biden can’t keep his story straight because he doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to educational choice. Biden sent his own children to a posh private school in Delaware – yet denies that option for parents who cannot afford to provide the same opportunity for their families and are forced to send their children to failing schools. It’s hypocritical, it’s unfair, and it’s just not right.
Bottom line? When we provide more choices to more families, students win. No child should be forced to attend a failing school. While Joe Biden’s record on school choice is murky at best, President Trump has consistently empowered children and parents by standing up for choice students across the country. This election, our children’s education is at stake—and for the sake of the 86,000 Wisconsin students who rely on school choice, it is imperative that we sent President Trump back to the White House.