Corey DeAngelis: ‘We’re just getting started’

Longtime education choice advocate Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at the American Federation for Children and executive director at the Educational Freedom Institute, continued to champion the rights of families to make education choices for their children recently, speaking on behalf of the American Federation for Children at America Fest in Phoenix.

Here are some excerpts from DeAngelis’ pitch for school choice:

“It’s a great time to be an American. And it’s also a great time to be a school choice advocate. The teachers’ unions have finally overplayed their hand, showed their true colors, and in a way, inadvertently done more to advance the concept of homeschooling, parental rights and educational freedom than anyone could have ever imagined.”

“This year has been the year of school choice, and we’re just getting started. Nineteen states have already expanded or enacted programs to fund students as opposed to systems. Parents have woken up. A way that I would put it is that COVID didn’t break the government school system, it was already broken. And families are never going to forget how powerless they felt in 2020 and they’re going to fight to make sure that they never feel powerless ever again.”

“We already fund students directly when it comes to Pell grants and the GI bill for veterans. The money doesn’t go straight to the community college regardless of your choice. Instead, the money goes to the student, and you can pick the community college if you want, but you can also take that money to a private, religious, or non-religious university. We do the same thing for pre-K programs.”

“Imagine if we forced low-income families to take their food stamp dollars to a government-run provider of groceries. That wouldn’t make any sense. Instead, the money rightfully goes to the families, and they can choose Walmart if they want. We can also take that money to Safeway or Trader Joe’s. The money follows the decision of the family. We do the same thing with Medicaid; we do the same thing with Section 8 housing vouchers. All I’m arguing is that we apply the same logic to K-12 education and fund people, not buildings.”

“Choice is the norm with higher education, pre-K and thankfully, for now, just about everything else in the United States. Choice threatens an entrenched special interest only when it comes to the in-between years of K-12 education. So, they fight as hard as possible against any change to the status quo, and they make up stuff and repeat the same arguments over and over again.”

“School choice doesn’t defund government schools; government schools defund families. School choice initiatives just return the money to the hands of the rightful owners — or at least the intended beneficiaries.”