Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2008 A7
“Certifying Parents” aptly describes the failure of California’s public-schooling monopoly, and why so many parents want out. Thanks to a handful of State Assembly members, a record-setting five parental choice bills are being introduced this legislative session. This is the first time in six years that any such legislation has been introduced in the Golden State, and thus far California leads the nation for the most parental choice bills introduced this year.
The proposed measures would free California children from unsafe schools (Rick Keene, R., Chico) and failing schools (Alan Nakanishi, R., Lodi and Roger Niello, R., Fair Oaks). They would also provide parents of private and home-schooled children with tax credits (Alan Nakanishi, R., Lodi,), and let parents of special-needs children choose another school if they wish (John J. Benoit, R., Riverside) without having to hire an attorney or jump through endless bureaucratic hoops.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared 2008 the “Year of Education Reform.” The California State Assembly, at least, is taking that declaration seriously.
Vicki E. Murray, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Fellow
Pacific Research Institute