Positioning Students for Unprecedented Success: Lisa B. Nelson and Michelle Harvey in The San Bernadino American
Education scholarship accounts provide students with a clear path to success
ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson co-authored a guest column in The San Bernardino American with National Education Advisor Michelle Harvey, highlighting the benefits of education freedom.
For decades, parents have fought to provide education freedom for their children. The District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program, passed in 2003, provided a glimmer of hope. The movement to pass a D.C. scholarship program was led by a mother, Virginia Walden Ford, who wanted a brighter future for her son. Twenty years later, six states — West Virginia, Arizona, Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, and Florida — have passed significant legislation that empowers every family with education scholarship accounts.
With funding in place, students are now positioned for unprecedented success. West Virginia, a state historically at the bottom of education success ratings, has emerged as a national leader in education freedom. Families may apply for a Hope Scholarship of $4,300 per eligible student and use the funds for a wide variety of educational expenses like tuition, testing fees, tutoring services, school uniforms, and more. They make a difference because they address the most basic of needs.
First, they provide parents with more control over their student’s education. If a parent’s standards aren’t being met, they are empowered to make a change. The scholarships also allow students to choose the environment that best fits their learning style. Not every child learns at the same pace with the same lessons under the same methods. And finally, these scholarships will open doors for families who previously could not afford private schools. In a word, they offer choice.