Have you ever met two children who are the same? Two kids who are just identical in every way. They have the same interests. They have the same behavioral tendencies. They have the same life experiences on which to dwell. They learn in the same manner.
I’ve never met two children like this. I’ve never met two people like this. And that, I believe, is not an accident. God envisioned every person on this planet and every one of them is different.
So when it comes to education, no two children should be forced into an educational model that targets one of the children but not the other. In this country where education is prioritized and funded by the people, the people’s children should be the priority, not just one school or the public school system.
States across the country have given their children the opportunity for a more customized education through the help of open school boundaries, where any child can go to any public school regardless of address, and education savings accounts. Education savings accounts, or ESAs, give parents the chance to opt their children out of their public school and have a portion of the funding that would have gone to that school instead be placed into a savings account for the family. The money would then be used to send the child to a private school or to pay for other customized learning services like online learning programs, community college costs, private tutoring or home-schooling materials.
Such ESA legislation, Senate Bill 437, is being considered in the Oregon Legislature. This flexibility could help meet the needs of all of the archdiocese’s children and should be given serious consideration.