Parents’ opinions on The CHOOSE Act, the school-choice bill supported by the governor

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) – Governor Kay Ivey has thrown her support behind the Choose Act, a new bill that aims to give parents the freedom to decide which school their children attend.

The bill aims to utilize $100 million of state funds to establish an education savings account, commonly referred to as an ESA.

The eligibility for the plan is initially limited to special needs children and the lowest-income families for a period of two years. Following this initial phase, the plan will be made available to all other individuals.

According to critics I spoke with, they express concerns about the potential diversion of resources from public schools that are in dire need of them. However, for parents like Amanda Moore-Francis, this new development could prove to be a significant and positive transformation.

“I reside in an unusual area of Madison, where the school district lines are quite peculiar. Despite living in a location that would typically be zoned for a Madison County School, that is not the case,” she explained.


Her residence is situated near Capshaw Road, however, her children would be assigned to attend Providence Elementary, Williams Middle, and Columbia High schools.

But with the CHOOSE Act, she would choose schools that are much closer for the convenience of her children.

“It’s absurd for a child to have to wake up and catch a bus as early as 6:30 in the morning, knowing that they’ll spend about an hour or two commuting to and from school. Spending a total of four hours on a bus every day is just unreasonable, especially when there’s a much closer option available.”

State Senator Arthur Orr announced that the funding for this plan would come from the surplus revenue generated by the education budget.

Students would have the freedom to attend any school, whether it is a public or private institution, under the Choose Act.

According to Orr, private schools will need to obtain accreditation from a nationally recognized and accredited institution before admitting students.

The main premise of school choice is to foster competition among schools and encourage improvement.

“It is crucial for schools to have the ability to compete for students and improve their offerings accordingly,” he explained. “This emphasis on special-needs children is necessary to ensure that they receive the support they need and have the option to attend a private school. It is important to prevent public schools from becoming the only option for children with significant needs.”

Last year, a bill was passed that provided funds exclusively for students in failing districts.

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