Editor: Del. Dave LaRock’s (R-33) introduction of the “Parental Choice Education Savings Account” bill is the most significant piece of educational legislation since desegregation. It begins to right longsuffering injustices and will demonstrate that the commonwealth is committed to the education of all children and not just some children.
The state mandates compulsory education. Further, it allows a parent to choose the type of school their child will attend: government, private, or home. The multi-generational injustice has been the majority forcing its will on the minority and dictating that all parents must pay for government run schools first before paying for their own privately or home educated child.
Del. LaRock’s bill would allow parents to create an educational account for every student not in a government school. The state would provide funds up to 90 percent of the value of the state’s contribution for similar students attending government run schools.
This is no small matter. In Loudoun County alone, almost 10,000 students do not attend government-run schools. At an average per pupil cost of about $15,000 per year, this cohort saves LCPS and the county $150M per year. In return for this enormous annual savings, these parents watch almost 70 percent of their property taxes and a significant portion of their state income taxes go to schools they are not required to use and from which their children derive no benefit.
That injustice is about to end. Parents will finally see their educational tax monies support their own children’s education and not their neighbors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s educational funds will finally become “public” for the first time in history.
David Dickinson, Leesburg