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Mississippi Governor: We Should Not Stand in the School House Doorway and Resist School Choice

• ExcelinEd

Yesterday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant gave an inaugural speech that outlined a bright future for Mississippi students and their families–a future including a healthy dose of school choice.

Check out the post below from Empower Mississippi for the highlights:


Bryant: We Should Not Stand in the School House Doorway and Resist School Choice
Empower Mississippi
January 12, 2016

Governor Phil Bryant was sworn in to his second term as governor today, and delivered an inaugural address where he touched on many of his priorities, including the expansion of school choice options to more Mississippi families.

From Gov. Bryant’s inaugural address:

With the Special Needs and Charter Schools legislation, we have provided more choice to parents. They now have the liberty to send their children to the school where they can receive the best education and care.  You see, individual liberty must exist for all our people, but they cannot be confused by the expectation of an individual or collective privilege.

There are rights in our society and there are privileges. For example, it should be a parent’s right, not just a privilege by income or social status, to take his or her hard earned tax dollars and send their child to a school they choose. Unfortunately, there are some who are content with keeping children trapped in failing schools.

We should heed the lessons of history and not stand in the school house doorway and resist school choice in the name of district integrity, or average daily attendance. I see little difference when a parent’s power to choose is taken away, whether by a school board or an offensive state law. If it is good for the child and preferred by the parents, let it be done.

Imagine with me a Mississippi where schools compete for students.  Where we have a fair system of funding while insisting on a quality education for every child, in every school. Where good teachers are paid well and incompetent ones are replaced. Where early childhood learning will be available to all children when parents understand that education first begins in the home.

During his first term, Gov. Bryant was a strong proponent of school choice measures including the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act and the Charter Schools Act of 2013, as well as education reform legislation including A-F grading for schools and school districts and the Literacy Based Promotion Act of 2013.

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