Rep. Greg Murphy: School choice offers parents more control

Published 12:25 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

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North Carolina parents and students deserve options when it comes to education.

School choice is a powerful, yet simple process that gives parents the freedom to maximize educational opportunities for their children. Educational freedom recognizes individual needs and empowers families to choose from a wide variety of options that best fit their children’s specific learning needs — unconfined by circumstance or zip code.

This National School Choice Week, we bring attention to the vastly popular school choice option in American education, which gives parents the agency to make their voices heard and the power to shape their children’s educational future.

After two years of unprecedented challenges to our education system, school choice offers parents more control over their child’s education. School choice emboldens parents to push back against harmful policies, lackluster or inappropriate curriculums, or remove their kids from unsafe environments.

Whether you chose traditional district public schools, private schools, public charter schools, online schools or homeschooling, every parent should have an active role in dictating the direction of their children’s education. Research has shown repeatedly that school choice vastly improves academic outcomes, reduces crime and helps students graduate high school and enroll in college.

Last year, our nation saw a record number of states pass or expand school choice, and it’s easy to understand why. According to a June 2021 poll, 74% of American voters across the political spectrum support school choice, including 70% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans. Over half of U.S. parents considered enrolling their kids in a different school within the past year or are currently considering alternative educations options.

Just recently, the American Federation for Children conducted 21 different studies examining the connection between school choice and academic success. The results were outstanding, as 20 of the 21 studies reflected demonstrated improvement in public school academic outcomes with school choice.

Opportunity gaps in education can quickly spiral into wider achievement gaps that can set students back on their pathway to success. School choice is especially key for low-income and minority students, who stand to gain incredible academic opportunities from school choice without regional constraint. No child should be disenfranchised in their learning environment. There is no doubt that better schools give parents the leverage to maximize student learning and opportunity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that there is no singular model of learning that works for all students. Education is not one-size-fits-all, and it is our responsibility to promote policies that expand school choice to give students in America more opportunities to thrive.

Every child in eastern North Carolina learns differently, and every child has different learning needs to match their talents, interests and challenges. Some children might excel in a local public school, while others might find a better fit in a private or home learning environment. No matter where your children receive their education, school choice should make all parents optimistic about the future of specialized learning in America.

As a parent, I have always said that the best things we can give our children is our love, our faith and a good education. All children deserve the opportunity to learn in an environment that allows them to reach their true potential. For tips on choosing the right school for your child, visit”

U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy represents the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina. He is a practicing physician of more than 30 years, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and vice chairman of the House GOP Doctors Caucus.