National School Choice Week: Great Public Schools For All Students

Every January, families, educators and communities from all 50 states join together to celebrate National School Choice Week. Here at Students Matter, we believe in public school choice policies that give all students — regardless of zip code — the opportunity to attend great public schools and enable great public schools to grow and serve more children.

School choice means hope

Across the country, traditional, magnet and charter public schools are successfully educating students of all backgrounds. Students can learn an instrument or another language; they can learn to code and compute. Great schools are preparing students for success in our 21st century society and economy.

We have great public schools, but unfortunately, we don’t have enough seats to accommodate every child that wants to enroll. Miles-long waitlists prove that there is demand for more excellent schools — and that policies such as moratoriums on magnet schools and caps on charter public schools are only making the problem worse.

The problem is especially severe in Connecticut, where restrictions on great schools have contributed to one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. That’s why a group of Connecticut parents and students filed the case Martinez v. Malloyto ask a simple question: why does the state intentionally limit the size and expansion of quality public schools?

The public school choice movement is based on the same beliefs and goals — that parents should have the freedom to pick the best public school environment for their students and that access to quality public school options should be afforded to all students. Our fight is based not on ideology or preference for one type of public school over another, but on the belief that every child and every family should have a shot at the American Dream. The students and parents we talk to care a lot more about whether or not a school is educating their child than they do about whether it’s a traditional, magnet or charter public school.

As supporters of public school choice policies that provide students — regardless of zip code — with the great teachers and quality schools that they need to succeed, we are proud to celebrate National School Choice Week 2017.