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Ainsworth: ‘People support school choice’

Alabama’s lieutenant governor is re-emphasizing his support for more school choice options in the Yellowhammer State.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth took to Twitter Saturday and said, “I believe it’s time for real school choice that allows parents in Alabama to decide what’s best for their children.”

Ainsworth recently discussed the issue during an appearance on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

“People support school choice and letting parents decide what’s best for their kids,” Ainsworth said. “I believe that, and so I think the people of Alabama want that option, and so I think key’s going to be just continuing to educate people about why that works, why that’s the best option.”

Ainsworth explained why he believes a successful school choice program would work in Alabama.

“What that means is allowing each parent to decide what is best for their child and what school they want to send them to,” he said. “Whether it’s a private school, a charter school, or a public school. I think also adding charter schools is something we need to do. That certainly works in other states.”

Ainsworth said he’s a strong believer in school choice but also understands it won’t solve all of the issues in Alabama’s education system.

“I don’t think school choice is going to fix all our problems,” he said. “But I think it certainly could fix 10% to 15% of our problems, and then we’ve got other things we need to do, too. We need to have a public school system that’s vibrant and strong and one of the best in the country and we don’t right now.

“So we’ve got a lot of reforms that need to be done.”

Ainsworth also reiterated why he believes an expansion of school choice in the state will go a long way in helping parents and students.

“At the end of the day the question is: ‘Who knows what’s best for your child?'” he said. “And should a ZIP Code your child’s in determine whether that kid’s going to be in a potentially failing school or not, or have other options? And I believe that always the best choice is to let the parents decide what’s best for the child and to give options.

“I’ve been clear on that for a while, but I’m certainly going to continue to push for that, but I also would say that I think the people of Alabama support that.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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