When it comes to education, no one is more qualified to determine the best path to success for students than their families. To honor that fact, schools, families and organizations around the country recognize the week beginning Sunday, Jan. 22, as National School Choice Week.

Currently, a student’s zip code or socio-economic status plays a determining role in the quality of education and the breadth of opportunities each student can expect, and this vicious cycle is only exacerbated by Question 2, which was passed on the ballot last November.

Providing families with a say in where and how their children are educated is critical to leveling the playing field for all students in Maine by allowing parents to send their children to the best, most effective schools and tailor each child’s education to their individual needs.

Allowing choice also provides a strong incentive for schools to become more competitive, both in cost and in quality, because schools that are failing students will face financial consequences while schools that provide a high standard of education will be rewarded.

This session, the Maine Legislature will take up a number of school choice bills, including a bill to provide Education Savings Accounts for special needs students and legislation to lift the cap on charter schools.

Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls

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