Sen. Tim Scott hosts school choice forum

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott believes where a child lives should not determine the quality of his or her education.

That’s why Scott on Monday hosted a day-long forum in Washington, D.C., titled “Choosing Excellence: A Forum on the Freedom to Choose Academic Excellence for Every Child.” The school choice forum included four panel discussions ranging from how to lead the choice effort to marketing school choice options to parents and students.

Scott, R-S.C. and a supporter of school choice, thinks that giving more flexibility to parents and school districts will improve educational opportunities for all students.

“It is great when the child has better options and better opportunities in life because they received a quality education not based on ZIP code or family income,” Scott said during a media call prior to the event Monday.

The forum follows Scott’s filing last month of his School Choice Act bill that seeks to improve school choice for military families and students with disabilities as well as expand the “DC Opportunity Scholarship Program,” which has served more than 5,000 low-income children in Washington, D.C.

Key speakers during Monday’s event include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. State Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, and Ellen Weaver, president of the Palmetto Policy Forum, also participated in the forum.

Weaver said South Carolina offers a variety of choice options, including charter schools, magnet schools, private schools, virtual school programs and home school. The state also offers a tax credit for scholarships for special needs children.

“Every student, whether from Greenville or Bennettsville, deserves to learn in a high quality environment that’s right for them,” Weaver said in an interview prior to Monday’s event.