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Don't Mourn the Closing of Schools ... Rejoice Because Kids Have Been Released from a Failing System

Andrew Dye/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP

I was one of the lucky people in Florida who had a front row seat to the 'school choice' movement with genius Jeb Bush at the head. There is much that can be said about Jeb Bush, but one thing is for sure, he is the 'Godfather' of the school choice movement and there is little argument about that. Not only did he model and concept so many choice options, but he also made it palatable to investors. That was a huge part of the success we see today. Now, newspapers are griping because schools are closing. That means the school choice movement is starting to be successful. Bad schools, schools where parents don't want to send their kids, should close. 

I call that, a good start. School buildings are not owed tax payer support because they hosted kids within their walls for decades. Just because tax payer dollars supported a failing endeavor for too long, does not mean we can't try something different. Parents line up to send their kids to a good school. A charter school in my area has parents lining up 24 hours in tents and chairs before the enrollment day starts. Don't tell me parents don't care about education any more. Don't tell me poor and lower middle class parents don't care about their children's education. Many just did not see any other option than the one being forced upon them because they could not afford private school tuition. Give them options and they will run and line up and volunteer and do anything else they can to get their child in a better school. Suddenly, they have options wealthy parents have had for decades. They can look at the public school in their area, the charter school, many private schools, possibly a magnet school, oh, look, there is a micro school, or we can homeschool and use our child's allocated education dollars for tutors or enrichment programs. That menu of options look much better than one failing public school because you live in an unfortunate zip code. Also, you know what that public school did instead of just continuing to fail? They got creative and became a magnet school of the arts to attract new students and they revamped their curriculum. That's exactly what they did with Howard Middle School in Downtown Orlando, Florida. It was a dying school with only students so poor they had no other choice but to be there. Orange County Public Schools made it a magnet school of the arts, sent in new administrators and teachers, and now kids apply and pray they get in. Do you want to know why they did that? They suddenly had competition for their 'customers' for the first time. What a concept!

The Teacher's Union and those that support them are so mad they will stoop to downright defamation. Charter and private schools have sports teams, as well. They also have debate club and Drama society. There are no reasons all the things kids enjoy from public school cannot happen in their charter or private schools. This is simply hysterical nonsense. Shutting down buildings failing students should be celebrated, not mourned. That building can be made into something new to serve the community. Many of those shut down schools are bought by charter and private schools so they have more permanent places to meet. There are no reasons to cry tears over schools closing. Let's celebrate because minds are opening and children have been released from the bondage of a failing system.


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