As students return to school, it’s crucial to remember that every child learns and processes things differently, something made abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important we avoid a “one size fits all” approach and instead promote different learning environments. Parents know their children best and should be afforded the opportunity to choose which school will be the best fit.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, critical flaws in our education system were exposed. Children were quickly transitioned into virtual learning and removed from the classroom resulting in lower test scores across Iowa, despite only be closed during April and May of 2020. At the same time, many Democrats and teachers’ unions were advocating for persistent school closures, all while sending their children to private schools that remained open.
This month, the Iowa Department of Education released test score data that revealed high school students are still recovering from virtual learning with test scores dropping by four percent. After just two short months of school closures in 2020, students in Iowa are still struggling to catch up. This begs the question of how children in states with longer school closures, like California, are recovering. This report also proves that in some instances, public school is not the perfect fit for every student.
Democrats are accusing school choice advocates of trying to defund public schools and instead fund private schools for the elite. This is blatantly false. School choice simply means that parents and their children should be able to determine where to enroll in school, not Washington bureaucrats who have never set foot in Iowa schools.
President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Speaker Pelosi should be advocates for school choice based on their educational backgrounds. President Biden sent his two sons to attend Archmere Academy, which charges about $31,000 in tuition each year. Vice President Harris sent her four children to Wildwood School in Los Angeles, which costs about $45,000 a year. Lastly, Speaker Pelosi sent her son to Episcopal High School in Virginia which costs $65,000 a year.
The average annual income in Iowa is about $52,000 a year, which is less than the tuition of many schools our government leaders are sending their children to. Criticism falls flat when the strongest critics of school choice are those exercising their ability to determine where to send their children to school.
As a mother, I understand how important it is to tailor a learning experience to the unique needs of each student. Every child in America should have the chance to succeed, and I will continue fighting to make this possible.