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Press Release

    Message of the Day

    01/17/2000

    Determine Donde Estudian sus hijos

    (Giving Parents A Voice)

    Today, as the nation celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday it is appropriate to look to ways to improve educational opportunities to those most in need. For parents with children trapped in failing schools, it is time to give them a voice and a choice.

    Reverend Floyd Flake, a former Democratic Member of Congress, strongly supports school choice. He and his wife run their own private school in New York City. He believes that if the public schools don’t work, parents should have a choice.

    And when parents in these schools are given a choice, they respond dramatically. The Children’s Scholarship Fund, which provide tuition assistance to low income families to attend private schools received over 250,000 applications.

    In Milwaukee, after four years in a state-funded voucher program in Milwaukee, low-income students performed 11 percentile points better in math and six points better in reading than similar students who did not receive vouchers.

    After one year, Cleveland students receiving state-funded scholarships scored higher in language, math, reading and social studies than similar public schools.

    In Baltimore, 44 percent of families eligible for a private scholarship program applied to give their children an opportunity to attend a better school.

    School Choice provides more opportunities -- it does not harm the public school system. As Lt. Governor of Florida, Frank Brogan has stated, “Show me where the public schools have gone away. Take me to Milwaukee – the public schools still exist. Take to Cleveland – the public schools still exist.” This is about giving parents a voice.

    All parents – regardless of income or location – should be able to give their children a chance at a quality education. That is what equal opportunity is all about. That is what Dr. King’s dream is all about.