Opinion

Today’s SCOTUS decision and the blessings of school choice

I am a pastor and father living in South Phoenix.

My wife, Rhonda, and I have always had a strong desire to provide all of our children with high-quality education, but working at the church does not generate the income to match our desire.

Unfortunately, the local public schools have never been an option because of the inadequate education they offer. The school district we live in is considered one of the worst in the state. They are measurably deficient when compared to the private schools.

With the help of Arizona’s Scholarship Tax Credit program, my wife and I, along with thousands of other parents, are able to take control of our children’s education.

When our oldest daughter, Micah, was ready to go to school, Rhonda and I could not afford private tuition and had to enroll her in a public school across town. The drive was long, but it was worth it to save her from the failing local schools. Yet we were still not satisfied with the education she was receiving.

The public school bureaucracy prevents teachers from focusing on the individual needs of children. As a result, the system creates an assembly line mentality: Kids get pumped through, losing their individuality and hope for a better future.

We realized that our children needed to attend private school. Thankfully, we received a blessing from heaven: the ability to experience firsthand the joy that comes from being a part of the power of choice.

The Arizona tax credit program offers scholarships to parents like Rhonda and me who would otherwise not be able to afford to send our kids to successful schools. Thanks to the program, 19,000 children are attending the schools of their choice, with many more on waiting lists.

For over 12 years now, Rhonda and I have joined thousands of other parents throughout Arizona in having the freedom to choose the schools that best meet our children’s needs. For me, the power of choice is fundamentally American.