Will Gov. Walz ever support school choice like his fellow Democratic governors?

It’s National School Choice Week — the annual celebration of effective K-12 education options and the school choice policies that allow families the opportunity to access the learning environment that best sets their children up for future success.

Both Republican and Democratic governors across the country have officially proclaimed this week School Choice Week (January 21-27, 2024) in their respective states in honor of National School Choice Week.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is not one of them.

  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R)
  • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R)
  • Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D)
  • Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R)
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D)
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R)
  • Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D)
  • Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R)
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R)
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R)
  • Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R)
  • Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R)
  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R)
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R)
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R)
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D)
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R)
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R)
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R)
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R)
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R)
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R)

While support for educational freedom and school choice policies often gets pegged as a one-party issue, it’s not. Support spans the political spectrum.

In fact, there have been a number of Democratic governors over the years who have approved school choice policies. For example, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed school choice legislation in 2023, as did Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf approved a bill when he was in office. Former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano — who also served under the Obama administration — signed six bills while in office that advanced school choice.

Unfortunately, Gov. Walz has not championed such reform here, despite the fact that Minnesotans overwhelming support school choice — school choice defined as giving parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school that best serves their needs.

Until those in positions of power redirect their political energy to such reform efforts, and are pressured to do so, school choice policy will continue to be an unrealized dream that the majority of Minnesotans support.