Letter to the Editor: Remove barriers restricting access to charter schools

By Eddy Justice,
Poplar Bluff

Dear Editor,

As an active member of the community, I cannot help but wonder why Missouri’s elected officials aren’t embracing the fact that a quality public education is not achieved with a “one-size fits all” approach.

While I am happy with the education my children received, I am cognizant that countless parents don’t share this sentiment because they are limited by financial restrictions or zip code.

While affluent families have the financial freedom to escape poorly performing schools, this freedom only comes to those who can afford it.  Presently, there is little choice for Missouri families, however, legislation such as HB 634 and SB 428 change this by offering students the ability to attend charter schools outside of St. Louis and Kansas City.

It’s important to note legislation such as this will only be utilized where there is demand from the community: where there is no demand, no new school will open. We need to remove barriers restricting access to charters. Let’s let local communities and families decide for themselves.

Additionally, other bills offer choice via savings accounts which allow parents to direct their children’s education to best meet individual needs. To this end, the Butler County Republicans will host an education reform roundtable at noon on March 22nd at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

While these bills vary in approach, they offer one common theme: freedom. The freedom for parents to choose how their child receives their education.  I say that’s as American as apple pie.

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