Despite lawsuits, school choice thriving

Thursday, June 12, 2014
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

A school-choice group says a recent court decision that Alabama's educational-choice program is unconstitutional is representative of opposition nationwide to most any kind of education reform.

school choiceCritics say Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Eugene Reese erroneously ruled last month that the Alabama Accountability Act violates the state's single-subject rule mandating legislation focus on only one issue. But on Monday, another court stayed Reese's decision while the state's Supreme Court reviews a ruling striking down the Act.

Jeff Reed is public relations director for the Friedman Foundation for School Choice. He tells OneNewsNow that litigious attacks are happening not only in Alabama but around the country.

"This is a national theme that's been going on for decades, that when a program is passed to give disadvantaged families kind of a leg-up to access a better school, the opposition typically starts filing lawsuits," he explains.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, the Alabama Education Association has filed "numerous" lawsuits in its attempt to stop the Accountability Act. Reed says opponents of school choice should stop such lawsuits that he argues ultimately hurt disadvantaged students.

Reed

"The opponents of these programs should frankly accept the fact that school choice is here," he suggests. "It's not going anywhere – in fact, parents want more of it and it is growing. So instead of trying to stop school choice, [I propose they] participate and start providing the education that these families want."

Reed says the good news for education reformers is that there is a trend in which the courts are more consistently putting families first when it comes to school choice.

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