Virginia’s lieutenant governor fights for new school choice bill

Little Flock Christian School in Fairfax, Virginia, one of 945 private schools in the state serving more than 144,000 students, is a non-denominational Christian school committed to exposing children to strong biblical values and teaching that will prepare them for life.

Editor’s note: This article appeared Tuesday on Virginia’s

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Delegate Glenn Davis, both Republicans, unveiled legislation last week that would essentially redirect money the Commonwealth spends on a student’s education in a public school to new individual savings accounts, if a parent asks.

The education success accounts, which could amount to between $4,000 to $6,000, could be used to pay for tuition, and other education essentials, in non-public school settings.

“It’s just like your health savings account,” Sears said. “Where you put some money in and then you choose your doctor, and et cetera, it’s the same principle.”

She said the proposal is based on her efforts to fight for parents who want more of a say in their kids’ education.

“This is our new Board versus Brown fight,” she said. “And, what is that, it was never about Black children being able to attend white schools. It was always about a parent being able to make the best educational decision for their child. So, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Critics on the other side of the aisle are already taking aim at Sears’ proposal, however.

Mayor Justin Wilson, D-Alexandria, says the legislation is just another attempt to defund public schools in Virginia.

“For far too long, the Commonwealth has actually underfunded local school divisions and the Commonwealth needs to be talking about how to increase the funds to our public schools to support our kids,” he said.

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BY Special to NextSteps