Access to an excellent education
Many children live in neighborhoods just a short distance from each other, but the quality of their schools is worlds apart. Our nation’s history of redlining to separate housing and schooling based on race and income, local zoning ordinances that restrict and confine affordable housing, and “school district secessions” by higher-income neighborhoods have created a system in which families with financial means can choose the school that is best for their child, while those with more limited resources often cannot.
This is unacceptable. No child should be forced to attend a failing school simply because of how much money their family makes. Every child deserves school options where they will learn and thrive.
Families deserve to know how well schools perform from year to year and in comparison to other schools in the community, state, and nation. State education systems must have clear and easily accessible school ratings that reflect how well a school is teaching its students.
School systems must have fair enrollment processes that ensure all students have equal opportunity to attend the school of their choosing—and schools must be held accountable for serving all children well regardless of family income, disability, native language, or special circumstance.
School systems must distribute resources in an equitable manner. Schools that serve students with the most intensive needs should receive resources proportionate to that challenge.
Many of us have built and oversee well-regulated systems of school choice that serve the diverse needs of our communities. These systems have helped to expand options for families; replicate great schools; foster innovation; identify schools in need of intervention; turn around underperforming campuses; and weave together diverse neighborhoods in ways that are healthy and long overdue.