“In Education, Parents Deserve to Have a Choice”

Jim Wooten:

The nagging question since Republicans took full control under the Gold Dome is this: What difference does it make?
In many areas, the difference is hard to see. Not so with education. Bit by bit, Georgia is catching up with other states in giving parents control over the education our children receive.
That is one of the major differences that surfaces repeatedly in legislative debate about education, about health care and, in general, about the role of government in our lives. It’s become especially noticeable in the past year. Democrats and Republicans are beginning to divide philosophically here, as they do nationally.
The debate generally breaks down as to whether we as citizens are responsible enough to choose what’s best for us — or whether wiser, better-informed and more compassionate bureaucrats should exercise that authority.
It’s the transcendent conflict of our time, made all the more urgent by the fact that the national tax base is shrinking while lifestyle choices grow dependence. In 2004, according to the Washington-based Tax Foundation, 42.5 million Americans filed returns and had zero tax liability, up from 32 million four years earlier. Non-payers have increased 160 percent since 1985, the foundation reports. Meanwhile, out-of-wedlock births make government a second parent.