Andy Matthews

Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.


One of the tenets of conservatism is the belief that individuals and families make better choices for themselves than government bureaucrats.

One of the places we see this most clearly demonstrated is in education. For the last century, government has run the vast majority of our nation’s schools with predictable results. As graduation rates and educational performance decreased, bureaucrats demanded more control and more money to address the problems they created. And despite spending more and centralizing control more and more, results continued to decline.

All the way back in the 1950s, the great economist Milton Friedman introduced the solution — school choice. Let parents control a portion of the money the government already spends to choose the school that’s best for their child.

In the last few decades, this idea has spread across the nation, and now 21 states and Washington, D.C., have some form of school choice. These programs have produced academic gains in student achievement for those participating in them, and also for those students who remained in traditional public schools. And since these programs can save the government money, it’s a true win-win-win.

While Nevada does offer some options to parents — like charter schools, magnet schools, online learning and the freedom to home school — it lags behind other states with school-choice programs.

What’s easy for me to lose sight of in the discussion of school-choice programs or test-score improvements are the stories of the children and families who have benefitted from school choice.

And that’s why I’m so excited to let you know about a free screening of the movie “The Ticket” that we’re hosting on Jan. 28 in both Reno and Las Vegas. “The Ticket” is a 38-minute documentary on the power of school choice — focusing on the stories behind the stats. This trailer does a great job sharing some of the stories you’ll see in the movie.

Our Reno event will run from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and will feature both the movie and a panel discussion hosted by KKOH’s Dan Mason and featuring “The Ticket” filmmaker Bob Bowdon and school-choice experts from the Reno area.

Our Las Vegas event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will include the movie and a panel discussion hosted by KXNT’s Kevin Wall and featuring Bowdon and Vegas-area school-choice experts.

This is a free event for the whole family, so please bring your kids and invite your neighbors to see the movie.

We will be sending out locations to you early next week, but I hope you will save the date now.

We’re also pleased to be co-hosting these events with The LIBRE Initiative and the RISE Education Resource Center as part of National School Choice Week.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Until next time,

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

Andy Matthews
NPRI President

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