Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump made yet another campaign stop in Ohio yesterday. In the days since the Republican convention in Cleveland back in July, Trump has made multiple visits to Ohio with a majority of them being northeast Ohio. Since northeast Ohio has both a sizable population base as well as containing several counties that broke for Trump during the primary this makes good campaign sense.
This time Trump’s stop was at a Cleveland charter school. The school was the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy, a predominantly African-American school on Cleveland’s east side. Trump used this stop to stump for school choice, including a program to award grants for low-income children to pursue their choice in education.
This stop occurred during a time of bad press for charter schools in Ohio. The infrastructure and rules for charter schools in Ohio is still going through growing pains; a few schools have been in recent news for attendance problems and poor audits. These have only been further exacerbated by attacks from state democrats and teachers unions who see charter schools and other methods of school choice as threats to their traditionally comfortable hold on educators and their union dues.
However, schools like the Arts and Social Science show that charter schools can and most often do work in the state. This Cleveland school offers a valuable service and choice to many students who have been otherwise failed by the traditional public schools in the state. By offering additional choices, especially in a metro area like Cleveland, parents and students can choose the best model of education for their family.
It was refreshing to see Donald Trump take a positive view on school choice and to offer policy solutions that benefit families. Trump has embraced full school choice, which includes charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling. In comparison, Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton has given lip service support to public charter schools as recently as July 2016, but has made it clear she does not favor full school choice by opposing private schools. Clinton should embrace the view that Trump has taken; that of school choice as an “all of the above” for multiple options.