When Congress began phasing-out the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in 2009, some parents were forced to send their kids to public schools that are failing and often unsafe. When asked by these parents about what options exist for them, I was at a complete loss as to how to advise them.

It troubles me greatly that parents are made to feel hopeless and helpless when faced with failing neighborhood schools that their children must attend because they don’t have the resources to either move to a neighborhood with better schools or to pay private school tuition.

But nothing has touched and angered me so much as the story of Ohio mother Kelley Williams-Bolar, who was charged with a felony and went to jail for taking her kids out of her failing school to a better public school in an area where her father lives. The Ohio courts ruled that Williams-Bolar had been untruthful in saying that her children lived with her father. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail and community service for falsifying records so that her children could attend the high-achieving suburban district rather than Akron public schools.

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