Reimagining Education

All parents should have the same options as Messenger

The following is a Letter to the Editor CEAM submitted to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in response to a column by Tony Messenger on the recent U.S. Supreme Court Trinity Luthern ruling. The Post-Dispatch declined to publish the letter, citing their policy to only publish one letter from an organization every 60 days.

“It was close to where we lived. It was inexpensive. It had a good reputation.”

Those are the reasons Tony Messenger in a recent column said he chose to send his children to Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center.

They are very good reasons for choosing a school of any grade. We are glad Messenger had the option to make those choices.

Every parent in Missouri should have the same option to make those choices. Hopefully, that will be the true impact of the recent Supreme Court decision and the Court’s subsequent decision to tell two states to reconsider recent rulings on school choice.

Messenger questions how the ruling will impact the separation of church and state, implying that protecting children from scraped knees may not be worth the slippery slope of the “state playing favorites when it comes to religion.”

For many parents, this week’s decision has nothing to do with knees or religion.

They are desperate to find the best school for their child’s individual learning styles and needs. The decision offers hope that Blaine Amendments, now in 38 states, can no longer be used prevent governments from opening the door to school choice.

Many parents in Missouri are trapped with no financial option other than to send their children to failing school systems paid for with their tax dollars.

Those parents, without some form of educational savings account or voucher system, do not have the financial means to have the same options as Messenger did to send their children to a nearby school with a good reputation no matter how inexpensive it is.

The real impact of this order is that it may finally provide the legal standing that parents across the country are demanding – the freedom to choose the best educational option for their children.

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