Cavazos lauds parental choice of schools


WASHINGTON -- Choice in education, a program that allows parents to send their children to any school they choose, has spread to 12 states and is winning broader public support nationwide, Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos said yesterday.

Mr. Cavazos said he would step up his efforts to convince other states and school officials that choice is the best answer to declining student performance. He said he would establish a Center for Choice in Education in his department to spearhead the campaign and might even testify before state legislatures.

He and other backers say the unconventional approach of allowing parents to choose schools, even in other districts, will foster competition among schools to improve and attract students and the state tuition money that comes with them.

The movement gained ground in the last year as seven more states passed laws allowing greater parental choice in selecting schools.

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