I sat down with Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to talk about National School Choice Week, as well as the concept of school choice. Here’s what she told me:
SECRETARY DEVOS: Well, School Choice Week, developed out of a national effort to bring choices to parents and students across the country. And it's a celebration of the progress that's been made to allow students to be in places, educational places that fit and are right for them. And it continues to build. There are 26 states today that have some kind of a school choice program and the district and Puerto Rico in addition to that. So more than half the states and the momentum continues to build.
BORIS: Some of the critics of school choice programs say that those programs are really just a way for those who are more affluent to pay less for schools. What do you say to that criticism?
SECRETARY DEVOS: Actually, most of the school choice programs in the country are targeted to families that don't have means, that our low-income, kids who are vulnerable, and they're the ones that are benefiting the most. Those that have the economic means today are able to make choices by paying tuition or moving to places where the schools are good.
BORIS: So functionally in real basic language, how does a school choice program work?
SECRETARY DEVOS: So, we talk about charter schools which are alternatively organized public schools. There are vouchers, there are tax credit programs, there are education savings accounts, there's virtual schooling, just to name the main ones.
Here’s the bottom line: Providing families with more choices allows them more flexibility in their pursuit of the American dream. School choice programs are yet another way that we can intelligently invest in our nation’s future.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.