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This year urban parents have been clear with state legislators about the need for better educational options in some of the worst districts in the state.
These parents have told legislators they do not want their children trapped in the same failing schools they attended when they were in school.
Parents have said largely black communities are in a state of crisis when it comes to having a good school option.
Parents have said finding a better school for their children can actually be a matter of life or death.
They have shared stories of their children facing bullying both from other students and from school staff.
They have shared stories of children with special needs being mistreated.
They have shared stories of how their children discovered they were years behind when they moved to more affluent school districts.
Parents have told legislators there are clear and easy policy changes that can make a real difference.
They have simply asked the state to give parents power over the one aspect of their children’s lives that will have the biggest impact on their future — education.
They simply want to choose the school that works best for their children, whether it be through a scholarship program, through expanding charter schools, or simply by opening the borders between existing school districts.
Lobbyists for the education industry have responded to these heartbreaking stories by telling the state that it must not do anything that could challenge the education establishment.
The lobbyists argue any measure that would give parents more power over their children’s future could reduce funding for existing schools and impact the state’s ability to provide an equal education to all students.
The problem is that the state does not provide an equal education for all students.
In fact, there is a great deal of inequality, inequity, and injustice in Missouri’s education system:
Clearly Missouri has some long-standing and systemic problems with providing a just education system for all of its students.
Isn’t it time we listen to the parents and give them some power over the future of their kids?
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