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South Carolina Must Become "A Right to Educate" State

The Right to Educate - Do we not have an intense clamor in South Carolina education for alternative forms of instruction beyond the confines and regiment of Common Core, unions, and the public school system?

In light of the findings from the COVID lockdowns and restrictions, aren’t South Carolina parents finally waking up to the “how and what” their children are being taught in our public- school systems and are greatly exercised to the point where they are demanding change?

The answer to both of these questions is, YES!

After listening to a thoughtful and comprehensive speech by South Carolina Speaker of the House, Jay Lucas, I can say without reservation that he recognizes this fact and has included School Choice as one of his top legislative priorities in 2022, but he needs our help!

He needs the citizens of South Carolina to rise up and DEMAND that our State Senators and House members get School Choice legislation passed pronto. They must endeavor to provide the citizens of South Carolina with sweeping legislation to "reverse the curse" of the South Carolina education standards. Doing nothing on the South Carolina education front in 2022 is NOT an option! Keeping parents out of the discussion on how they want their children to be taught is also NOT an option!

Let's face it, on the whole, South Carolina has deep seated issues with the QUALITY of her education. While there are certainly pockets of brilliance, this states' education ranking compared to many of her Southeast Regional neighbors is abysmal. The State of Florida is the education turnaround model.

While my preference is to make sure that independent nonprofit educational resources are in full demand, I also am a red-blooded capitalist who believes that free-market education is the way to go. Free-market education (School Choice in the main) smooths away the rough edges as it pertains to the level of quality in South Carolina education. It also acts as a multiplying influence to ensure low cost-high quality education with enough built-in levers of accountability (the invisible hand) to keep lousy teachers away from our children. Furthermore, it will greatly reduce the control and impact that the Teachers Union(s) have in South Carolina education.

I am calling on Speaker Jay Lucas and all elected statehouse officials to pass a comprehensive School Choice education package while codifying into law that South Carolina is now a "A Right to Educate" State. Let South Carolina set the standard and become the first state in the NATION to pass “The Right to Educate” legislation! This legislation will codify the specific parameters of what being “A Right to Educate” state actually means. Similar to "Right to Work" legislation that guarantees all workers in South Carolina the freedom to choose to join a Union or not (24 states have this), our state legislature must pass "The Right to Educate" legislation that guarantees all parents the freedom to choose how best to educate their children. We must not be forced into accepting Common Core, unions, and public schools as the only viable alternative.

Let me put it this way, if we do not expand the depth and breadth of School Choice options in South Carolina, we are “effectively” limiting many parents into forced obligation to accepting public schools, unions, and Common Core as the only option. Parents want flexibility and choice.

We need School Choice options that consist of a plethora of public and private alternatives with varying degrees of government oversight and involvement (or not) to meet the needs of our children's learning capabilities. This legislation must include portable Education Savings Accounts (ESA) to meet the demands of the 21st century. ESA accounts should not be limited in scope but available to all South Carolinians.

In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith outlined some quintessential thoughts on what the invisible hand of free-market education (School Choice) would have on the quality of our children's education. He stated, "The demand for instruction produced, what it always produces, the talent for giving it; and the emulation which an unrestrained competition [limited government involvement] never fails to excite, appears to have brought that talent to a very high degree of perfection [both student and teacher]. Brackets added [ ] for emphasis.

Let us level the playing field to the point where PARENTS are once again the drivers and/or influencers of education decision-making in South Carolina. Let us truly be “A Right to Educate” state with specific and comprehensive enumerations.  

Will our elected officials rise to the cause? Will parents hold them accountable? Can we pass the right kind of School Choice legislation?

As your congressman, I will work tireless to ensure that this same type of legislation is introduced and/or sponsored at the federal level. Doing nothing is NOT an option!

Please vote Mike LaPierre in the June 2022 Republican Party primary. He is the congressional candidate who has the depth of understanding to get things done and move our state forward.

 

LaPierre for U.S. House District 4 (Greenville and Spartanburg Counties)

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