Updated: Sep 26
FCCS invites you to join us in a bipartisan call to action to our elected leaders in the Republican and Democratic Parties: It’s time to place the power of public school choice in the hands of families and work together, across party lines, toward a more equitable education system that serves all of our children, regardless of their backgrounds.
Our nation’s education system stands as a cornerstone of equal opportunity, a beacon of hope for a brighter future, and the pathway to economic mobility. The bedrock values of access to quality education and economic prosperity resonate deeply with both the Republican and Democratic Parties. However, in very different ways. There is an imperative need for both parties to collectively reimagine public education to better serve all our children.
Yet, let us first acknowledge that language, once a vessel for essential meaning, has been manipulated to serve political agendas. Depending on which political party uses the term, “parent choice” offers a different meaning than its foundational usage. Parent choice in public education is rooted in parents having power to influence the school system their children attend. We must act swiftly to preserve its true essence before it becomes twisted into a divisive and partisan narrative.
Parent choice embodies the fundamental principle of empowering families to select the public school education that aligns with their children’s unique needs and aspirations. For Black and Brown communities, Parent Choice is a necessity to build power to address educational disparities disproportionately affecting their communities.
The Democratic Party, long regarded as the torchbearer of these values, finds itself at a crossroads. While it champions access to quality education, it has been timid in fighting for every family’s right to choose the best school for their children. Instead, the party often appears to protect an education system that benefits privileged families while inadvertently limiting opportunities for predominantly Black and Brown communities. Democrats must reaffirm a commitment to an education system where every child, regardless of their background or zip code, has access to quality schools that nurture their potential. Afterall, Black and Brown families constitute a crucial part of the Democratic Party. They played a pivotal role in electing President Biden in 2020.
Meanwhile Republicans often prioritize culture war issues over educational equity. Their emphasis on topics like religious freedom, gender identity, and curriculum content divert attention away from critical aspects of public education. Instead of tackling fundamental issues, such as closing achievement gaps and addressing systemic educational disparities, Republicans often engage in divisive debates that detract from the core mission of providing every child with a quality education, perpetuating inequalities. Republicans must acknowledge that public education is not a monolithic entity.
The concept of giving parents the right to choose a suitable school for their children may seem like common sense, and indeed it is. This is not a political game but a deeply personal struggle for countless families who simply want their children to attend schools where they can learn safely and thrive.
Parent choice is not about dismantling public education or advancing divisive agendas. Our schools are in crisis, and parents are eager for a reimagined public school system. Polls among Black parents indicate dissatisfaction with the existing one-size-fits-all approach, with more than one-third seeking different educational directions. Over 50% of Black parents support school choice options, including charter schools, and believe they are fair and accessible. Latino parents similarly demand significant changes in the U.S. education system.
Neither party is adequately addressing the harsh educational and economic realities that Black and Brown students face daily, a significant portion of our public school system. This is especially true in major school districts like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. To continue along this path is not merely an oversight; it is a profound injustice.
Every child, without exception, deserves an excellent education. By reasserting a bipartisan dedication to parent public school choice, Democrat and Republican Party leaders can send a clear message that they stand for educational solutions, such as charter schools, that uplift communities and:
Ensure Black and Brown families have access to quality public school options.
Reimagine the public education system with investments that enhance the academic, social, and emotional well-being of our students.
Authentically engage families and school communities in decisions that directly impact them.
It is time for both parties to stand up for the rights of parents to make the best educational choices for their children. In this mission, we find common ground and a shared commitment to the ideals of access to quality education and economic mobility. Together, we can reimagine public education for a brighter future.
Join FCCS in urging Republican and Democratic elected leaders to prioritize empowering families with public school choice options. Let us come together as a community dedicated not only towards providing quality education but also towards creating an inclusive society where every child has an equal chance at success.