State Representative Mike Sparks First to Sign ‘Education Freedom Pledge’


State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) signed the American Federation for Children (AFC) “Education Freedom Pledge” this week. The pledge seeks to unite lawmakers, candidates for office, and voters around the important issue of education freedom.

Sparks told The Tennessee Star in a statement, “Parents should be in control of their child’s education, and they have the right to not only make their voices heard, but choose the best educational option that fits their child’s needs. I was proud to sign the pledge, and lend my support to this important cause.”

The Education Freedom Pledge says,

I pledge to support policies that promote parental rights in education and educational freedom. This includes the right of parents to voice their opinions at school board meetings and to take their children’s taxpayer-funded education dollars to the education providers of their choosing – whether it be a public, private, charter, or home school.

The AFC is a non-profit that works to ensure children and their parents, especially those who are lower-income, can choose which school they want to enroll in across the country. The AFC helped 604,619 students, from October 2021, enroll in private school choice programs.

The AFC also has 65 private school choice programs in 31 states, as well as DC and Puerto Rico.

“We appreciate Rep. Sparks’ enthusiasm in signing this pledge,” AFC’s Tennessee State Director John Patton said in the statement shared with The Star. “When it comes to educational freedom, Rep. Sparks has not ever hesitated and has been a staunch supporter of parents, and students over systems. We look forward to spreading the word about the pledge, and encourage anyone who wants to stand with parents, students, and AFC to sign the pledge.”

The AFC collected research on how the ability to choose schools had affected education. It found that out of 17 schools, 11 participating in private school choice saw improvement in test scores.

When public school choice was studied, it found that out of 21 schools, 20 found that school choice improved public school academic outcomes.

The study also showed that school choice saved taxpayer money and reduced racial segregation in schools. More students that were a part of the school choice program on average went to college to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

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Morgan Nicole Veysey is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow her on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]




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3 Thoughts to “State Representative Mike Sparks First to Sign ‘Education Freedom Pledge’”

  1. Kevin

    Kudos to Representative Sparks for recognizing and getting on-board with a concept that will help children, but whatever happened to Bill Lee’s vaunted “School Choice” program?

    To me, it seems like Tennessee’s education system is going backwards under Governor Lee!

    1. 83ragtop50

      Kevin – Not to worry. Lee’s “brilliant” choice to lead education – Penny Schwinn – and her liberal and woke crew will see to it that Lee’s education effort will fail. All the while he is throwing megatons of taxpayer dollar at a failed education system.

      Lee has been a total failure at most all levels it is sickening. He has proven that having personal wealth does not equate to having common sense nor resulting in good governance. How I wish we could get rid of him now.