Tuesday afternoon AdvanceUSA, along with educators,
community leaders, and education advocates, attended the “Compassion in Action
Roundtable” sponsored by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community
Initiatives. The topic of the roundtable was “Real Choices for
Educational Improvement: How Faith-Based and Community Organizations Help
Bridge the Achievement Gap.”
of government, church, educational, and community leaders shared success
stories of rising test scores and parental satisfaction because of the
intervention of faith-based and community organizations. Among the
speakers were Bishop William Lori who spoke about the dramatic improvements in
inner city schools in Bridgeport,
Connecticut as well as Sally
Sachar, Virginia Walden-For, and Chris Kelly who highlighted the DC Opportunity
Scholarship Program which benefits low income families in the nation’s capital.
was pleased to hear several speakers emphasize the need for school
choice. Two general categories of school choice were discussed.
Vouchers are direct payments by the government to parents or
schools in order to provide for students’ private or public education thus
providing more options than just the local school district.
Tax Credits allow parents to deduct some or all of their tuition
payments from their taxes, or they give individuals or businesses a tax credit
for contributing to a non-public school scholarship fund. Some school
choice advocates prefer this method as it minimizes government involvement in
private school affairs.
Department of Education’s new report entitled “Education Options in the States:
State Programs that Provide Financial Assistance for Attendance at Private
Elementary or Secondary Schools” was also highlighted at the event and can
be read online here.
hopes this interesting and inspiring meeting will help advance the cause of
school choice for parents and further improve the state of education in America through
the efforts of faith-based and community initiatives.
information on school choice ideas check the AdvanceUSA pro-family page.