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  • Caroline Colarusso

The Time for School Choice is Now

School choice allows the parents to decide what is best for their children, not government

I am Caroline Colarusso running for Congress in the 5th District of Massachusetts. I believe reading, writing, mathematics, and science are the most critical subjects for our children to learn, yet progressive politicians like my opponent Katherine Clark are seemingly oblivious to that simple truth. Unfortunately, the results are in, and they are impossible to ignore. In Massachusetts, test scores have plummeted to a 19 year low. There is no doubt in the minds of reasonable people across the Commonwealth that this is the direct result of government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns that deprived our children of crucial learning time in the classroom.

Our elected officials prioritized the closing of schools even when they were told by the health experts that children were not at risk with respect to COVID-19. This is what happens when politicians are beholden to special interest groups who contribute to their campaign accounts. As their campaign coffers fill, our children pay the ultimate price. Despite the strategically staged scenes of Representative Katherine Clark reading to children in an attempt to convey the image that she cares about education, she was nowhere to be found during the height of COVID when schools were closed, and kids were twiddling their thumbs for weeks on end while public schools in the district scrambled to bring education online. Clark never once advocated for our schools to be open. She was not concerned about our children and grandchildren falling behind in core subjects.

Katherine Clark is a shrewd politician. She weighs the political impact of campaign contributors who keep her in office against the health and well-being of our children, especially those without deep-pocketed advocates. Their mothers and father are their only advocates, and under Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, these concerned parents were labeled as domestic terrorists for speaking on behalf of their children at school board meetings. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland should have received a strong public rebuking from our representatives in Congress on behalf of children, Moms, and Dads all across the nation who pleaded for schools to open. Instead, he received accolades of praise from Congresswoman Clark, who apparently views parents as inconsequential in the education of their children. She has taken this voting block for granted for almost a decade, and it’s time to hold her accountable for that at the polls this November 8th.

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Test scores of students in Massachusetts reflect a significant academic decline in public education that began long before COVID-19 closures. Massachusetts public schools are not what they used to be, and inserting politics into the curriculum has hurt our students all the more. Moms and Dads throughout the district and the country understand this, and many of them refuse to remain silent any longer. Even in the most affluent school districts in Massachusetts, parents know there is a problem. Public school enrollment across Massachusetts dropped as dissatisfied parents have decided to pull their children out and seek other options. If your child was fortunate enough to be enrolled in a private school, they suffered less than their counterparts in public schools. This is why we need school choice now. School choice allows the parents to decide what is best for their children, as the money follows the child. Even though we all know that competition drives performance, Clark is opposed to the concept of school choice because she is beholden to special interest groups. She is not in a position to advocate for our children because that would not fill her campaign coffers and keep her in power. Katherine Clark cares about Katherine Clark, not our children.

I was recently in conversation with the father of a student enrolled at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden. Despite the high cost of living in our district, this family refuses to move because their child is enjoying an amazing educational experience at the charter school. You probably know several parents whose children are enrolled in private or religious schools. What are they saying about the quality of the education their children are receiving? And what about the increasing number of homeschooling moms and dads. Their kids were not subject to any loss in learning. Their children are excelling while children in public schools are falling farther and farther behind. The time for school choice is now. As your next representative in Congress, I will advocate for the rights of students and their parents, and I will push for school choice for ALL of our children, especially those in urban areas, inner cities, and poor neighborhoods because they are the ones who are disproportionately affected by school closures and lackluster academics. They should not finish last because of their zip code or economic status.

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