More than 10,000 Floridians showed up in their capital city of Tallahassee to defend a scholarship tax credit program that is providing educational options for 78,000 children against a lawsuit filed by the state’s teachers’ union designed to shut the program down and deny parents in the Sunshine State that school-choice option.
It’s not difficult to see the intellectual bullies who run Jefferson County’s educational labor union attempting to deny similar options to Bluegrass State families should the day come when lethargic politicians who hold the upper hand of power in the Kentucky House and claim to care about the poor and disenfranchised in the inner city of Louisville finally decide to put the interests of kids above the sizable campaign contributions made by the anti-choice ideologues and pass school-choice policies, including a scholarship tax credit bill.
Among these ideologues’ talking points are claims that allowing parents to choose the best school for their children – whether that’s a public, charter, private or virtual school – will re-segregate the nation’s education system.
However, none other than Martin Luther King III – the son of the Father of America’s Civil Rights Movement – told the Florida crowd on the day following the holiday that honors his father: options for parents offer true diversity.
America’s “greatness is found in its diversity,” he said. “And that’s why we’re talking about diversity – even diversity of options — whether one is educated virtually – that’s doesn’t work for everybody but some people will do very well virtually. Charter schools don’t work for everybody, but a lot will do well. Public schools don’t work for everybody, but some will do well. Options – that’s what we must have.”
King also took a swipe at those living in denial – such as many ideological opponents of school choice in Kentucky.
“Every day we have thousands of children dropping out of schools, and we don’t believe that there’s something not right?” he asked. “This tax credit gives an opportunity for children to drop in to schools and to be successful in schools and to be successful in America. … This is about justice; this is about righteousness; this is about truth; this is about freedom – the freedom to choose what’s best for your family and your child, most importantly.”
While King said he wasn’t sure exactly what his father would say at such a rally, “what I can say is I know that he always stood up for justice, and this is an issue of justice … so that so many of our young people don’t end up going into the criminal system. If we educate properly at the earlier levels, we will have less and almost none in prison at the end of the scale.”
King’s speech and the rally was a precursor to this week’s National School Choice Week that’s resulted in more than 16,000 events nationwide promoting and recognizing the success of school choice policies.