Four prominent elected Democrats in Colorado – Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Denver Mayor Mike Hancock, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and state senator Michael Johnston – felt strongly enough about the power of school choice to pen an op-ed this week for The Hill’s Congress blog. Here’s a taste:
In Colorado, school choice has appropriately always enjoyed support from both Democrats and Republicans. Nationally, choice has too often been divisive, with some Republicans using choice as a wedge issue to deconstruct the Federal role in education, while other Democrats have resisted change in any form in an attempt to preserve the status quo. But in Colorado, the emergence of elected Democrats independent from legacy policies and willing to form broad coalitions has reframed the debate on education reform.
School choice appeals to the best instincts of both political parties. It allows Democrats to adhere to their core principals of equality and opportunity – so that a student’s zip code does not determine the quality of their education. It allows Republicans to introduce moderate – and managed – market dynamics and the beginnings of limited competition in the public school sector.