Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina a few days ago fired up a student rally for National School Choice Week, strongly stressing the value of a quality education that private school choice provides. The enthusiasm for the transformational power of education freedom was palpable among the Opportunity Scholarship students from 10 Washington, D.C. public charter and private schools.
Senator Scott himself is a testament to what an education and inspiring educators can do for students across the country. He reflected on his education growing up in a poor, single-parent household (15:00 mark): “When you’re living in poverty, you move a lot sometimes. My mother was working sixteen hours a day, trying to keep the lights on and food on the table. And it didn't always work out. We didn’t always have the lights on. You come home sometimes, you hit the switch, it didn’t work. Tough times.”
Understandably, Tim Scott struggled with school at first. He attended four elementary schools by the 4th grade. As he went from middle school to high school, “things got worse.” This future senator failed four classes in high school including, ironically, high school civics.
What turned Tim Scott’s life around was that “he had a mom who stuck with him and met a mentor that showed him the wisdom of conservative principles.” Through their belief and his own determination, Tim Scott got his grades back on track, graduated from Charleston Southern University, and eventually built his own successful small business. For millions of children today, the only way to obtain such a personal transformation is through the quality afforded by school choice.
Senator Scott said:
“I understand the value of a good education. I’ve said it several times, the closest thing to magic in America is a good education.”
We believe, as does Sen. Scott, that parents should be able to freely choose a school that fits their child’s needs and select an education that upholds their values. Therefore, Protect The 1st supports the ability of parents to choose among a variety of educational settings – including charter schools, private academies, and religious schools – so that their children can enjoy the benefits of quality education. The need for a private school choice is part of a movement that Sen. Scott identifies as the “civil rights issue of our time.”