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The LIBRE Initiative pushes for educational options in Georgia

The LIBRE Initiative recognizes how important education is to the success of each individual, as well as the future success of our nation. It’s essential that we prepare young people for the challenges that lie ahead.

That means helping them identify and develop their talents and building the habits of lifelong learning. It requires recognizing that every child is different, blessed with unique talents and interests, and that they do not all thrive in the same environment.

For many, traditional public schools may be the right option. But others might do best in a public charter school, or private school, learning pod, microschool, or homeschool.

To help each student succeed, it’s important that families have support in choosing the best options. That’s been especially true during the coronavirus pandemic, when so many families have been forced to adapt to uncertainty.

The Georgia legislature is considering HB 60, the Georgia Educational Scholarship Act, to empower families with more educational options.

The measure would create educational scholarships to allow eligible families to access a portion of the education dollars that the state has allocated for their child and spend it on qualified educational expenses, while requiring annual testing of participating students and an annual report on the program.

The LIBRE Initiative recently highlighted the benefits of this proposal in a letter to all Georgia legislators:

Polls have consistently shown that education is a top priority for Hispanic families, and it has clearly been a particular concern since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As the staff and volunteers of The LIBRE Initiative engage with the Latino community in our state, we see a strong desire to make sure students have access to the educational options that fit their needs. That’s the best way to help them discover, develop, and apply their talents and abilities, and to encourage the habits of lifelong learning.

Students have a range of learning styles and challenges. Not everyone learns in the same way or succeeds in the same setting. But everyone has talents and gifts that can be unlocked and developed. Forcing kids to adapt to the status quo educational system is the wrong approach, especially without clarity about when the pandemic will be behind us. Instead, students and families would benefit from flexibility and access to a variety of educational options and tools.

David Casas, State Director of The LIBRE Initiative-Georgia, also testified in support of the bill at a recent hearing in the Georgia House Committee on Education:

Casas noted:

For Latino families, educational choice is a top priority. These kids are hurting and these kids are having a tough time. HB60 is a bill that fundamentally, it’s giving the right to the one that is more interested in the education of their child – that’s the parent… I ask this committee to get behind it. This is the right direction.

The LIBRE Initiative team will continue to monitor HB 60 and other valuable bills as they are considered in Georgia, and to push for the creation of new educational options for students and families in our state.

Add your voice to those calling for better educational options in Georgia!