An education revolution is underway across America. A growing number of states have embraced school choice. West Virginia and Arizona lead the way two years ago by giving families control over their children’s tax dollars.
Arkansas, Iowa and North Carolina then followed. Leaders in Louisiana and Texas have been elected to do something similar.
I believe it is time for Mississippi to embrace Education Freedom, too. Rather than being a laggard in the education revolution, Mississippi ought to be leading it.
We need a plan to make the case for Arkansas-type reform in our state, persuading lawmakers and officials, and building a broad coalition for change.
To kick start this campaign, we are hosting a meeting on November 15th with Fox News contributor, Corey DeAngelis. We will be joined by lawmakers from Arkansas that helped make school choice happen over there, and by PragerU.
What would Education Freedom mean in Mississippi in practice?
A few weeks ago, I went on a fact finding trip to Little Rock, Arkansas to learn how Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders made Education Freedom a reality.
Under the so-called LEARNS Act, every child in Arkansas will be allowed an Education Freedom Account, with 90 percent of the prior year’s average per pupil spending paid into it. To give you an idea, that could be about $10,000 per year controlled by each family per child.
In Arkansas, families will be free able to allocate that money from 2025 to pay for their child’s tuition, school fees, school supplies and even school transportation costs. Moreover, the parents can chose to spend that money in a public school, or a private school, or even through home-schooling.
I believe that Education Freedom is the single most important thing that we need to do to improve Mississippi for the better. While there has been some progress in education with the adoption of phonic teaching, I think everyone would agree that there are still far too many young Mississippians not proficient at math and English.
Education Freedom is the key way to build on the improvements that there have been. It is also the essential step needed to improve the overall performance of our state, since educational attainment is so critical for success in other areas.
If you would like to learn more about our campaign, please email me at [email protected]