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Ohio school serving mostly minorities shows why school choice works



Of all of Donald Trump’s cabinet picks, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received the most pushback in part because of her support for school choice. While liberals might hate the idea, a school in Ohio is showing why vouchers and tax credits give the greatest opportunity for children.

Cristo Rey Columbus High School opened four years ago, servicing mostly low-income minority students. On Wednesday, the school announced that 100 percent of their first graduating class of 47 seniors was accepted into college, reported The Columbus Dispatch.

On top of the entire class getting into college, the 47 students received a total of $1 million in academic scholarships.

“We told you all along if you stuck to the program, you’re going to get accepted into college,” Jim Foley, president of Cristo Rey Columbus, told the assembly of students on Wednesday. “You worked very hard to make that happen, and we’re so very proud of you.”

It’s a tough school to get into. Students have to take an entrance exam, attain a letter of recommendation, as well as a review of their disciplinary and attendance record. Furthermore, it’s a tough school, besides the academics, students are placed in work-study programs to get training where they learn certain skills.

Obviously, those who make it through all four years are wildly exceptional, but they benefit from not having to be stuck in a failing public school and schools in Columbus are some of the worst. According to the Ohio Department of Education, Columbus public schools got an “F” in K-3 literacy, performance achievement, and closing the gap with high achieving schools.

Being around positive influences and an environment that challenges them allows them to reach their fullest potential.

Tuition is $13,000 a year, but charitable donations, vouchers, and work-study employers pay for most of it. Families are only responsible for $250 to $2,500 depending on their income.

While $13,000 a year seems expensive, it’s about the same amount as public school cost per pupil. According to Business Journal, public school costs about $11,063 per pupil.

The Cristo Rey network has 32 schools nationwide that educate more than 11,000 students in poor and minority areas.

Hopefully, once these students are successful adults, they’ll be able to give back to the communities where they came from and help another child who was in their position.

Obviously, this isn’t the only system that works. However, expanding educational opportunities through vouchers and tax credits can give exceptional students a chance to achieve.

If DeVos and Trump are able to expand school choice, they’ll also be able to expand success.

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