School choice will put meritocracy back into US school system: Rep. Burgess Owens
As schools return to full-time in-person learning, many parents are paying greater attention to what their children are learning and are even attending school board meetings to ask questions and protest policies that allow the indoctrination with transgender ideology, sexually explicit graphic novels and Marxist critical race theory in the name of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Many Republican lawmakers rally with parents and believe that America’s public education system should be accountable to parents.
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) said the U.S. education system must put student needs first and that school choice allows meritocracy to improve education for all.
Owens said he favors the idea of taxpayer dollars following the child and parents with school choice.
“Imagine those dollars in a backpack, and parents [can pick a school] based on school direction, based on how they respect my child, based on values,” Owens told NTD’s “Capitol Report” program in an Oct. 3 interview. “What it does is it gives us a meritocracy.”
Other aspects of society operate on a meritocracy, Owens said, particularly in business. He said the best hotels and restaurants get the best revenue, based on quality.
“[School choice] will be eliminate those systems this are not work for our children,” he said. “And we need at be power at eliminate the wrong and underline the good.”
Burgess said many inner-city schools were not producing literate students, especially in low-income black neighborhoods.
“In 2017, 75% of black boys in the state of California failed standard reading and writing tests. That’s a disaster. You have districts in Baltimore that have zero percent proficiency in math,” Owens said.
“The problem is that they get away with it,” he added.
Burgess criticized teachers’ unions for prioritizing adults and their needs over the needs of children.
“It’s because of adults who care more about adults than their children. This should be a warning sign for all of us,” he continued.
“None of our kids are in school. None of our kids have learned to love our country, to love each other with that empathy,” Owens said. “We’re in a place now in terms of education where we can disrupt the system that hasn’t worked for over 170 years.”
House GOP members spoke to parents in their communities and heard they wanted a quality education and created the Parents Bill of Rights, which sets out Republicans’ vision for education by putting parents back in the driver’s seat. , said Owens.
“We have to make sure that meritocracy fits in here, and we can choose the best for our child. And with that, those who don’t give our nation what we need, they will go bankrupt,” Owens said.
More states are moving towards school choice, with Arizona the latest state to enact legislation allowing families to enroll in an annual fund, starting at $7,000, to be used for a wide range of educational needs. These choices include public school, private school, or homeschooling.
“If public schools work, that’s great. If not, private schools should be an option. If it’s not the case [work], school at home. We can have all different types of options,” Owens said. “It’s about our children, not the institution.”