Snow or Not, Let's Keep Sharing School Choice Wishes for 2015 and Beyond

There’s no school right now, but plenty of holiday magic in the air. And so today I’m wishing for snow so my Dad can take me out on the sled. I guess if we went up into the mountains, there’d be plenty to come by. But around Eddie’s neighborhood, it’s just a little too warm and dry right now.

Getting my wish would be fun. But even so, the snow would melt away before long, and I’d be right back to square one again. Better to focus on a wish that lasts. Like opening the doors to a better future for many Colorado kids through the power of scholarships. I’m talking about a School Choice Wish!

Last Friday the great blog redefinED kicked off its 10-part School Choice Wish series with a piece written by one of my Education Policy Center friends. Not your typical dry policy argument, but the true story of a Denver man whose life was changed for the better by a K-12 tuition scholarship, and now works full-time to make the same sort of scholarships available to more kids! It begins:

Fifteen years ago, James Coleman was an African-American middle school kid living with his mom. They had been back in Denver for a year, after a painful separation from James’ stepfather in Florida. He had spent most of his young life with relatives in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Las Vegas.

James was one of the very first beneficiaries of ACE Scholarships. Today he is ACE’s vice president for community engagement:

James raises the question that drives his work: “Our organization is doing a fantastic job, but how can we incentivize [donors] to give more and convince them to do more through policy?”

The looming answer is establishing tax credits for donations to scholarship organizations like ACE and the handful of others that currently operate in Colorado. Fourteen other states have paved the way with their own versions of a scholarship tax credit program.

Bingo! I knew I liked this guy. The kind of person who would smile wide along with me when Kansas enacted this same kind of school choice Colorado needs, and when New Hampshire’s Supreme Court upheld its program and kept the doors of opportunity open.

Yes, it seems like a LONG time since little Eddie here has been preaching the power of scholarship tax credits to you. But whether it’s Denisha Merriweather in Florida or James Coleman in Colorado, I find the best way to persuade people that we need this policy is to tell the true stories, the success stories.

In the end, that’s why this blog exists. To do my tiny part to help open more doors of opportunity that leads more kids toward the success stories of the future. Sure, it would be really nice to get some serious snow for some serious sledding today. Yet whether that happens or not, I’m happy to keep proclaiming the School Choice Wishes that lead us into 2015 and beyond!