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This week’s “Legislator of the Week” award goes to Iowa Democrat State Sen. Claire Celsi. It is the first time Sen. Celsi has won this award to our knowledge. She won the award for making a great case for Education Savings Accounts during the Senate Education Committee hearing on Governor Kim Reynolds’ ESA proposal.

Celsi opened by acknowledging she attended private school her whole life, but noted as a “young single mom” in her 20s, she lacked that choice.

“That really just smacked me on the head one day — ‘Wow, what would I do without my school and my school community,'” she said. “And I realized that I wouldn’t be able to access any other type of schooling for my kids. I didn’t have transportation, I didn’t have, you know, anything that I needed to access that. So I was very grateful for my local public school and the village that I created there with my community.”

Celsi clearly benefitted as a student from her private school education. And it is too bad that as a young single mother, she felt she had no choice but to send her children to a public school.

It’s too bad as a young single mother she didn’t have the transportation or “anything” she needed to access school choice.

We aren’t so sure that Sen. Celsi understood the point she was making at the time, but the point was made nonetheless. Nobody should ever feel they have “no choice” when it comes to where their own children spend the majority of their waking hours for educational purposes.

Choice should always exist — especially for single moms and single dads.

Maybe public schools were the best choice for Celsi. Maybe public schools are the best choice for most parents. But the definite is that it should be a choice. It’s too bad that Celsi felt she had no choice.

And it’s really too bad that one political party is intent on keeping other single moms from enjoying the ability to choose what is best for their children.



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