For many supporters of public schools, National School Choice Week, celebrated last week, is a source of consternation, as school choice is often viewed as a referendum, or worse yet, an attack on our public schools. On the contrary, supporting parents’ right to choose schools aligning with their values and supporting the great work of public school systems such as Lincoln Public Schools need not be mutually exclusive. LB 295, the “Opportunity Scholarship Act”, a tax credit that would provide scholarships for private schools, deserves our support in the Nebraska State Legislature in the upcoming session ("Tax credit draws support, questions," Jan. 27).
As parents of five students at St. Teresa and Pius X, we have seen firsthand not only the quality but also the cost efficiency that can be achieved in a private school setting. These are not schools reserved for the privileged elite, but rather accessible and wonderful testaments to the power of commitment to a common goal on the part of teachers, staff, parents, and volunteers alike. Measures such as the “Scholarship Opportunity Act” will only further enhance this accessibility, especially for families most in need.
School choice extends far beyond charter schools, and supporting and implementing legislation providing a greater degree of school choice enhances our overall educational options. In any community, successful private schools encourage and promote successful public schools, and vice versa, and limiting access to one does not benefit the other.
Craig Vacek, Lincoln