WASHINGTON, D.C. – National School Choice Week is expected to feature more than 20,000 events across the country in 2017, a sign of growing public support for school choice as one of its biggest champions is slated to take control of the U.S. Department of Education.
National School Choice Week 2017 will eclipse the 16,745 events last year with nearly 4,000 more rallies, open houses, roundtable discussions and other planned events centered on highlighting the virtues of a wide variety of school choice options, from homeschooling to private schools, to online academies and charter schools.
“Of the 20,450 events, 16,159 are being planned by schools, 2,157 by homeschooling groups and 1,355 by chambers of commerce who are also participating in the Week by holding their own events, meetings or activities,” NSCW officials announced Wednesday. “Individuals, organizations, teachers and coalitions are planning hundreds of additional events.”
National School Choice Week 2017 will run from January 22-28, just days after New York businessman Donald Trump is slated to be sworn into office on January 20. Trump in November announced he intends to appoint Michigan philanthropist and longtime school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.
“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” Trump said. “Under her leadership, we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver a world-class education and school choice to all families.”
DeVos is chairman of the American Federation for Children and board member of other school choice organizations that have supported National School Choice Week.
“The status quo in education is not acceptable,” DeVos said in November. “Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”
DeVos has a long history of championing private school vouchers and other educational options in Michigan and other states, and helped to found the charter high school West Michigan Aviation Academy in Grand Rapids, The Detroit News reports.
She’s also earned high praises from a variety of influential political leaders, including Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Betsy’s appointment will mean great things for Michigan and for children around the nation as she takes her no-nonsense commitment to empowering parents to the highest levels in Washington,” Snyder said.
Empowering parents with options for their children’s education is the whole goal of National School Choice Week.
“Every January, National School Choice Week spotlights the millions of students, parents, teachers, and civic leaders who make education options a reality in their own communities and states,” NSCW president Andrew Campanella said. “With 2017 poised to be a pivotal year for school choice, National School Choice Week will provide an unprecedented chance to celebrate school choice where it exists, and demand it where it doesn’t.”
For more information, visit SchoolChoiceWeek.com.