March 31, 2023

Celebrating National School Choice Week

By Mariannette Miller-Meeks

As a mother of two, I understand how important it is for children receive the best education possible tailored to their needs and wants and which is why expanding school choice is a priority. Every child should be provided with the opportunity to succeed, and that starts at school. However, even though both my husband and I and our two children went to public schools, that system may not be best suited to the learning needs of every child.

This week, I joined Representative John Moolenaar (MI-02) on his resolution to designate this week as National School Choice Week. While it’s important to expand school choice, it’s equally as important to educate students and parents on what “school choice” really means. School choice isn’t about taking funding away from public schools — it’s about providing students with access to learning environments better suited for their needs. This may include smaller class sizes, more physical activity, one on one mentoring, or specialized programs for children with learning disabilities.

I’m also excited to reintroduce the CHOICE Act with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), which would expand school choice programs for elementary and secondary school children. In doing so, children with learning disabilities, children of military families, and children in low-income families would have access to schools and programs specifically tailored to their needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed flaws within our education system and made it clear that parents should play the lead role in decisions about their children’s education. Unfortunately, Democrats would rather remove parents from the classroom and force all children into a “one size fits all” learning environment. Our children deserve better, and parents know their children best.

Thankfully, in Iowa we prioritize our children and value the opinion of our parents. Just this week, Governor Reynolds signed the “Students First Act” into law, which will give parents a seat at the table and expand access to alternative forms of education. Whether it’s at a private school, charter school, public school, or even at home, every child and their parent(s) deserves the ability to choose which environment will best meet their learning needs.

Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, and their success starts in the classroom. The time for school choice is here and I will continue fighting to improve our education system.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.