Show-Me Road Trip
I have recently returned from a two-week road trip through the rural parts of our state, where I was out meeting people at county fairs and talking to them about how free-market policies could create greater opportunities for prosperity in their communities.
One of the most common issues that I discussed was that of school choice. While many of the people I spoke to felt that their local public schools were doing the best they could, almost everyone I spoke to agreed that parents ought to have the opportunity to send their children to the best available schools — including public schools in nearby communities, or local private schools. Most also instinctively recognized that improving the education of their young people could help to attract more and better-paying jobs to their communities. The people I spoke to made it resoundingly clear that education is definitely an issue that is important to folks in rural Missouri.
In the midst of my trip, I had the pleasure of stopping in Kansas City to attend a celebration of Milton Friedman’s life and career. For those who don’t know, Friedman was a Nobel laureate who proposed school choice as the best solution for providing publicly funded education. In honor of his birthday, organizations across the nation hosted a total of 50 events to promote and celebrate his ideas. Here in Missouri, the Show-Me Institute co-hosted an event with the Kansas City Public Library at which Kevin Chavous, a nationally respected attorney and school choice advocate, discussed the importance of education reform in America. Nearly 100 people attended, and it was absolutely exhilarating to see so many people come out in support of improving educational opportunities for the children of this state.