No child should be placed on a wait list to his future. Yet today, more than a million kids in cities across America languish on wait lists for the charter school of their choice. Many more can’t attend the private school of their choice, because their families simply cannot afford it.

Millions of children have their futures dictated by ZIP code rather than their God-given abilities.

The truth is, most families in America have the opportunity to send their children to a great school, but most is not enough. Millions of kids are getting left behind. Millions of children have their futures dictated by ZIP code rather than their God-given abilities. Millions of families are trapped in poorly performing schools, and they can’t afford to do anything about it.

Ask yourself this question: If you can’t afford to move, and you can’t afford to send your child to a different school, what real options do you have if your local school is not working?

This is why school choice matters. Educational choice allows parents to choose the best environment for their child regardless of income or geographic location. The freedom provided by school choice levels the playing field and helps ensure that all children have a chance to achieve success.

As a former president of School Choice Indiana, I am proud of Indiana’s efforts to make sure every Hoosier child has the chance to learn. Nearly 200,000 kids utilize alternative educational options in my state. These programs empower parents, improve the lives of Indiana children, and change the trajectory of their families. It can work in other communities across America.

That is why I am championing school choice here in Washington, D.C., too, and it’s why we formed the Congressional School Choice Caucus, a group dedicated to ensuring that every child in America has the opportunity to attend a great school. Members of the caucus are working to expand educational freedom and promote policies that increase high-quality educational options for all children.

To help ensure that all kids have access to a great education, I introduced the Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Students Act. This legislation will strengthen existing school choice programs and authorize parents of the most disadvantaged students to use Title I dollars for the school of their choice. The bill also expands Coverdell Education Savings Accounts so parents can better save for their child’s future.

For me, school choice is the civil rights issue of our time. Every child, not just most, deserves access to a quality education. In America, we believe in opportunity for all. We believe that every American is entitled to a God-given right to pursue happiness and build his own version of the American Dream. In today’s globally competitive world, that pursuit begins with access—for all—to a high-quality school.