Shin: Why I Support School Vouchers

By Lisa Shin
Candidate for House Dist. 43

During the candidate forum May 15 at the Kiwanis Club, Kiwanian Paul Cunningham said education is a critical issue for the state, has failed to improve over the last many years and asked if we had any ideas on how improve it, without more cost to the taxpayers.

I answered that I am a strong proponent of parents having the final say when it comes to their children’s education. And I definitely support a voucher system. Consider that the CYFD offers an excellent program that gives direct help for parents who want to put their kids in a pre-K program. And the great thing about this program is that parents can choose the pre-K program that is best for them and their child. And if we can do that in the pre-K program, why can’t we do it for K-12 program. I am the only candidate here who supports school vouchers.

I cannot understand how those who say they champion the poor, oppose school vouchers. There is nothing more powerful than education to lift people out of poverty. Reince Priebus is right when he says, “For most students today, their neighborhood or zip code determines their school. That means some kids, by no fault of their own, are forced into a failing school…By empowering parents over bureaucrats, school choice challenges all schools to do better — helping all of our kids.”

Parents can’t wait another day; they have to act now.

This past weekend, I spoke with a mom who paid $20,000 a year for a private school specializing in learning disabilities. She could afford her son’s tuition, but what about the parents who cannot? School vouchers offer a fiscal benefit for such families, as well as our state and local governments. States that face tighter budgets particularly benefit from the savings, detailed in this report: The Fiscal Effect of Private School Vouchers.

I am also a beneficiary of public school, but my parents chose to send me to private schools as well. Private schools were far more academically rigorous than the public schools in my area. A school voucher would have been tremendously helpful. It was hard, but worth the sacrifice, because they knew that education was the only pathway for minorities to overcome discrimination and succeed in America.

Our State Legislature would most likely not pass school voucher laws. However, we could support more charter schools and look at educational savings accounts. I applaud Arizona’s State Legislature for SB 1281 which clarifies rules concerning these accounts. They give students multiple learning options and are among the most innovative programs in the Country. Every child deserves an education that best fits their individual needs, whether that’s public, charter, private, home school, or any combination of these.  Let’s empower parents by giving them the financial means to do so.  

Reach me at lisasfor43@gmail.com. Text “Lisa43” to 555888 for campaign updates.

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