Advocates celebrate school choice week on Capitol Hill

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More than 200 students, parents, teachers, and school choice advocates celebrated National School Choice Week at the nation???s capitol yesterday morning.

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the value of education in his own life, noting that ???education is the great equalizer of America.???

Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana) hosted the event and is a strong supporter of school choice. He introduced a bill last week, Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act, which would allow states to convert $14.5 billion in education funds to scholarships for students to use to attend a public or private school of their choice. It would also provide parents with more flexibility in education savings accounts.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that access to education is the civil rights issue of the 21st century and that a student???s race and zipcode shouldn???t determine their access to education.

He noted that over one million students are on charter school wait lists and that ???we shouldn???t put our future on a waiting list.???

Other speakers included Reps. Steve Scalise, John Kline, Todd Rokita and Virginia Foxx as well as Sen. Tim Scott. Gary Jones, a parent of an Opportunity Scholarship Program student, and Isaiah Smith, a student at Washington Latin public charter school, also spoke. The event concluded with a performance from the St. Francis student choir.