When making most decisions in life we all look for better options. Something as simple as a trip to the local supermarket shows us this. The shelves hold many different options, and because you want to purchase the best product, you take time to look until you find exactly what benefits your entire family.

Now parents can do the same when it comes to educating their children. Thanks to the passage of the CHOOSE Act, families have the option to place their children in a school other than their local district school. Until now, one of the few ways they could choose a school was to up and move to another district or pay for a private school out of pocket, both of which put great financial stress on a family.

With Alabama’s universal school choice bill, however, parents now have options to give their children a better education. They have the opportunity to place their children in a school environment where sharing the gospel is not something softly whispered about as if it is a crime. Parents have the chance to find a school where the same morals and values that they tirelessly work to instill in their homes are displayed in the classroom.

Do I think that the CHOOSE Act is some fairytale fix to all of life's problems? No, but I do see it as an opportunity to crank up public school accountability, causing the education system to make some much needed changes and step up to the plate. And if you are nervous that your public school may lose all of its funding to this program and that most of your kids will be pulled by their parents, then you should realize that this fear further signals that there is a serious problem with our schools.

The fact is, this option is just that: an option. It is completely voluntary and up to the parents to make the decision. This is not mandatory, so taking an Education Savings Account like those the CHOOSE Act offers, while frowned upon by some, should be looked at as what it is: an opportunity to better the education and life of students who would otherwise not be able to afford that opportunity.

My family had the opportunity to see what education choice is like when we pulled our children out of school and began homeschooling. The problems we saw at our children’s school continued to multiply and there appeared to be no real plan in place to ensure that they would get better. It was almost as if most of the administrators were giving up, rather than fighting for change. Homeschooling was our only chance at that time to better our children’s education and remove them from a place where they were exposed to so many sick ideologies and minimal efforts to improve their education. Yet if the CHOOSE Act had been in place then, it would have opened a door for other options, had homeschool not been the best for us.

There are many other kids that need rescuing from the public school system. The CHOOSE Act may not be a perfect fix, but it does give parents options to move their children into an environment that will provide them with a true education, not indoctrination.

“This was once a land where every sane person knew how to build a shelter, grow food, and entertain one another. Now we have been rendered permanent children. It’s the architects of forced schooling who are responsible for that.” ― John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. She is the author of "Unexplainable: Inspirational Stories of God's Love in the Most Unique Ways." Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email ashley.carter@1819news.com.

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