The bill was heard in the Senate Committee on Taxes on Mar 19 and was followed by a press conference hosted by Opportunity for All Kids (OAK) about school choice. “It is time to try something new,” Sen. Chamberlain remarked as Sen. Galezka said this bill is “a tool that we hope to use to close the disparity gap among some of the schools we have in Minnesota”
Sen. Gazelka points out how this legislation also “breaks down financial barriers for low/middle-income families” by allowing them to have the freedom to “select the best schools based on the needs for their sons and daughters.” This “equal access and equal opportunity” as Sen. Chamberlain calls it, has proven to be beneficial “18 other states [that] have this particular program.”
The principal of Ascension Catholic School, Benito Matias, also spoke at the conference discussing how he works to address both the “opportunity and belief gap with [his] scholars” by encouraging students to believe that can do the work placed in front of them and shedding lights the long term benefits of learning that information.
Sen. Chamberlain also points out the statewide support for equity opportunity scholarships citing that “65 percent of Minnesota families… 78 percent of African Americans… [and] 90 percent of Latinos support equity opportunity scholarships” in the state of Minnesota.
“This is about educational freedom” Sen. Chamberlain maintains, adding that this entire bill is about “empowering the people who are best capable of making [school choice] decisions, and that’s the parents.”
Watch Republican Senator Roget Chamberlain testify in support of School Choice
Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.