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Byron Donalds: School choice, innovation allows all students access to great education

It is time for parents across America to be empowered to make decisions about their child’s education.

Over the last two decades, Florida has led the nation in increasing choice and innovation in our school system.

President Donald Trump seeks to build on the overwhelming success of school choice by expanding options for every student in America. Trump believes every student deserves a world-class education and rejects the bureaucratic notion that the ZIP code or neighborhood should dictate where a child is allowed to go to school.

In Florida, school choice overwhelmingly benefits poor, minority, and disabled students and their families. The Democrats, on behalf of their union bosses, have fought every step of the way to rob these students and families of the school choice programs that have worked so well for them.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has specifically called for ending choice scholarship programs across the country. In Florida, that means that hundreds of thousands of mostly poor, minority, and disabled students and their families would be forced out of the education environment that is working best for them and back into the perpetually failing schools they have chosen to get out of.

This should not be a partisan issue. As the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal said: There is no moral or fiscal justification for killing the scholarships.” Trump knows this and understands the very clear data that proves school choice improves educational outcomes for students. That’s why the Trump administration proposed a new $5 billion annual tax credit program to expand private school scholarships, apprenticeships, and other school choice programs.

For Trump, this is not a political issue. Families that utilize school choice scholarships are not traditional Republican voters. But Trump is not motivated by politics. Trump has demonstrated that he wants every child, every student, and every person in America to have the opportunity to succeed and the freedom to choose their own path in life. And his support of school choice across America is further evidence of that.

For Biden, killing school choice scholarships is a coldhearted political calculation aimed at pleasing his union-boss financiers that fear the accountability that school choice provides. Biden does not care about the plight of low-income families trapped in dangerous neighborhoods or their children trapped in failing schools. If he did, he would ignore the self-protectionist pleas of the unions and support these programs, given the robust evidence that they work. It is a cynical irony that Biden’s own children went to private schools. Yet, he would willingly deny the same opportunity to the children of low-income families.

But Biden is counting on families that use school choice options not to pay attention. He is counting on them to be confused by his mile-wide, inch-deep rhetoric about opportunity and upward mobility. Don’t be confused. Biden has failed to deliver for low-income families and their children for the nearly 50 years he’s been in office. Why would the next four years be any different?

It is time for parents across America to be empowered to make decisions about their child’s education. Parents know their children better than any government bureaucrat ever could. It’s time that parents across the country be trusted the way Florida has trusted them for the last 20 years. It has worked.

Trump wants every student in America to have access to a great education. Trump knows that breaking the cycle of poverty begins with education. Trump stands up for every American, and every student, whose needs have been ignored by political leaders for far too long. His commitment to school choice for every child in America makes that crystal clear.

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Rep. Byron Donalds represents House District 80 and is the Republican candidate for Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

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