July 2, 2020
By Matt Beienburg

“When a black woman says I want school choice options for my kids, the answer is not, ‘no that’s racist.’ Because that’s what they were saying… ‘Choice in education is a racist idea, and if you want that, you must be racist.’ That’s news to me.”

Empowered Arizona Families founder Kayla Svedin has stood up as a voice of those fighting for their kids. As a parent, wife, and champion of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program, Kayla recently joined Chris ‘Citizen’ Stewart for a podcast discussion about her fight for school choice in Arizona.

Recounting her own family’s journey through the public school system, the ESA program, and the condescension she’s faced from anti-school choice “experts” of academia, Kayla offers a sharp contrast to those who’ve tried to sideline her voice. Speaking to one recent episode involving two academics, she notes, “They didn’t even argue with me. For so long they wanted to completely ignore that I was even in the conversation. They would not address me…because I didn’t fit the narrative they wanted to push.”

Fortunately, Kayla’s own narrative is one she has courageously shared: “There are a lot of moms that aren’t like me, that can’t speak candidly, that don’t want to get up in front of people…,” but “I’m here and I’m saying that school choice benefits my kids…If I didn’t fight for these kinds of things, where would [my daughter] even be?”

Whether a critic or believer in educational freedom, it’s hard to recommend highly enough that you give it a listen.

Matt Beienburg is the Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute.

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