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Yarbrough ‘cautiously optimistic’ on school choice bill

State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity) is hopeful that his school choice bill will be able to make its way through the legislature this year, but admits it won’t be easy.

Yarbrough is carrying the Parental Rights in Children’s Education (PRICE) Act in the State House, which would allow parents to get $6,000 in state tax dollars to put in an education savings account.

While Gov. Kay Ivey mentioned school choice in her State of the State speech, it’s unclear whether she would support vouchers or an education savings accounts.

Recently on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Yarbrough discussed why he thinks his school choice bill can pass.

“I think we’ve got a better chance now than we’ve ever had,” Yarbrough said. “Whether that’s enough for it to pass, only God knows the future, but I feel like the momentum is on our side, and when I say our side I just mean the side of freedom and liberty. So I am cautiously optimistic. There’s no question there’s going to be a battle, but it’s a battle I wholeheartedly embrace and welcome.”

The lawmaker said that parents should have more options when it comes to their children’s education.

“The fundamental idea behind school choice is the idea that parents ought to have their hands on the financial and ideological steering wheel of their children’s education,” he argued, “For too long it seems like that has not really been the case in terms of parents really having a real seat at the table and really having their hands on the steering wheel to help guide and direct the financial, and therefore the content of the education that affects the souls and minds of their kids.”

The state representative responded to some of his critics and those against school choice generally.

“It seems like these days,” he continued, “a lot of times when true freedom, liberty type of legislation comes to the forefront, sometimes you get crazy accusations like ‘you’re a radical,’ or ‘you’re a racist,’ or in this case ‘you want the rich kids to get their education paid for,’ but not of that is true at all, those are all just red herrings.”

He also believes many parents are not happy with the values being taught in many of the public schools.

“Education isn’t just the learning of facts, it’s the passing down of a way of life,” he said. “And that way of life and those values and not that woke indoctrinating curriculum that is frankly evil and wrong, but passing down that historical way of life that we value and that carries freedom with it is under attack.”

Yarbrough reiterated that he’s ready for the fight to get this accomplished.

“As one man said, ‘if difficulty has to come, let it come in my time that my children might be free.’ So I’m up for the battle and I am in it for the people of Alabama and my own family.” he said, “And I look forward to see what happens.”

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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