Alabama Makes It Easier Than Ever for Parents To Have Their Kids Educated

Roman Samborskyi /
Roman Samborskyi /

Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) made history and a huge difference in the lives of Alabama students with the CHOOSE Act. With a simple stroke of the pen, she made AL the 14th state in the US to offer parents the option of giving their kids the best possible schooling. Using education savings accounts (ESAs), roughly 14,000 students will get $7,000 towards education expenses away from public schools, funded via a $100 million endowment to start with.

This option is important for the kids. It can be used for private school tuition, tutoring, testing, supplemental materials, and starting college coursework. It’s available in person, online, and as a hybrid. To many, this sounds nothing like the high school they remember, and they are right about that. Instead, this changes the face of education.

First started in Milwaukee back in 1990, this highlights the need for variety in education. Some students need a different or more tailored environment to learn best. Public, charter, private, and even religious schools can be funded with these ESAs. It gives parents options that are necessary in urban environments where a proper caring education can be impossible to find, as well as in rural areas where there might not be an alternative option within 25 miles.

In parts of Alabama, the “separate but equal” way of education existed far into the 20th century. The impact of these segregated educations is still being felt by more rural school systems. Their historically low test scores have prevented them from getting the funding to attract higher caliber educators, and as such, the students have suffered, both white and black.

Cities like Birmingham have not been immune to these problems as well. Thanks to people like Hilary Clinton pushing forth programs like “No Child Left Behind,” teachers are made to pass the buck and let students just pass. As a result, students are reaching high school and unable to read beyond grade school. Getting these kids into smaller classes with more dedicated teachers can make all the difference.