President Donald Trump formally proclaimed this week to be National School Choice Week, and called on lawmakers, parents, and students to explore new education options.
“To maintain our global leadership and strengthen our modern economy, America’s education system must prepare students for the unforeseen challenges of the future,” Trump said in a proclamation issued Monday.
“Communities that provide academic options—traditional public, public charter, private, magnet, parochial, virtual, and homeschooling—empower parents and guardians to select the best educational fit for their children.”
Trump praised Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was a school choice advocate before he appointed her to the position.
The president also noted the key legislative achievement of his first year in office, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, included a provision to expand 529 tax-free education savings plans—previously only for higher education—to include K-12 accounts.
“By giving parents more control over their children’s education, we are making strides toward a future of unprecedented educational attainment and freedom of choice,” Trump said in the proclamation.
Trump said about 90 percent of American adults have either a high school diploma or a GED.
“But our students deserve more than just a paper diploma,” Trump said. “Indeed, they deserve access to an education that provides the tools needed to succeed in our ever-evolving world.”
Further, the proclamation notes that 29 of the top 31 empirical studies on the topic found school choice in a community improves the performance of nearby public schools.
“During National School Choice Week, I encourage parents to explore innovative educational alternatives, and I challenge students to dream big and work hard for the futures they deserve,” Trump said. “I also urge state and federal lawmakers to embrace school choice and enact policies that empower families and strengthen communities.”