RSVP America began in 1994 as a grassroots movement to restore legal protection - state by state - for marriage, women, and children.
For the last fifty years the federal government has been pushing themselves into public education more and more in an effort to bridge the gap between under performing students and achievement across socio-economic status. Unfortunately, no matter what the program has been called over the years, bureaucratic driven ‘fixes’ have not bridged any gaps, nor have they helped American students remain competitive with other developed nations’ students.
The answer to this problem is simple: parents. Parents know what is best for their unique student. Parents instinctively know what works and what doesn’t work for their child and they know (despite what many educational lawmakers believe) to whom to turn when their children have needs that can’t be met by regular education. By giving educational power back to the parents students can begin to achieve again. This could not be better proved than with two states’ recent decision to provide each student with an Education Savings Account (ESA).
A recent Federalist article explains what an ESA is:
“ESA funds, which are distributed to accounts quarterly, are loaded onto a restricted-use “debit card,” allowing parents to direct funds deposited into their child’s account toward any combination of approved education services and products. These include private tuition, tutoring, curricula, textbooks, individual public-school courses, online learning, and education therapies. Parents can even roll unused funds into a college savings account.”
So far this program has been implemented in Arizona and Florida with quite positive and encouraging results. The article goes on to explain the greatest benefit of ESAs is that they “…restore accountability to its proper place by shifting responsibility in education decision-making back to the students’ primary providers: the parents.”
Hopefully, more states will pay attention to these two states and begin implementation of similar programs. If nothing else, ESAs prove what opponents of centralized, big government education have been saying all along – parents and local educators and other service providers, working together, know what is best for students.