School Choice Wins Big in National Elections: Next Up, Louisiana
Last week, all eyes were on the national TV networks’ blue and red maps as the 2022 midterm election results came in. For those looking for a big partisan shake-up, it turned out to be a dud. But for those watching with an eye toward school choice, the results were more than promising. Voters overwhelmingly elected or re-elected leaders who ran on school choice to give parents greater decision-making power when it comes to their child’s education. American Federation of Children’s Corey DeAngelis called it the “school-choice election wave,” crediting parents across the nation for waking up, taking control, and electing more than three-fourths of the organization’s supported candidates.
Momentum had been strong ever since Governor Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia last year, following a campaign that made school choice the #1 education priority in a state known for being unfriendly to education reform.
The enthusiasm continued, with voters handing solid re-election victories to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who stood for education freedom and private school choice. Governors Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, and Bill Lee of Tennessee also won after committing to expand parental choice in education.
Moreover, Ellen Weaver, one of South Carolina’s foremost champions of school choice, was elected the state’s next superintendent of education. And Democrats J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania both won governor races in their state after endorsing, again, school choice.
There’s a reason for these election results: Americans are tired of the status quo. Families are fed up with having limited high-quality educational options and school officials who aren’t responsive to their concerns. They’ve sent a message–loud and clear–that they won’t stand for it any longer.
Don’t think this momentum will wane any time soon, including before Louisiana’s fall 2023 elections. Louisiana parents care just as much about their kids’ education as those who cast votes last week. As a local example, last week, members of the Pelican Institute team had the opportunity to visit BASIS Charter School – Materra Campus in Baton Rouge, where the principal reported over 700 students on the school’s waitlist. Lawmakers approved two new school choice programs through legislation last year. They would now be law had it not been for Governor Edwards’ veto pen.
The school-choice wave is rolling across America. It’s just a matter of time before it crashes into Louisiana, wiping out the status quo and placing parents firmly in charge of their kids’ futures.