School choice rally in Montgomery largest in nation, organizers say

Montgomery school rally

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Organizers of a National School Choice Week celebration in Montgomery say it was the largest rally of its kind in the nation.

A large crowd of K-12 school aged children, parents, and teachers gathered at the State Capitol for a rally to celebrate National School Choice Week.

Sonya DiCarlo, communications director for the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund organization said there were about 4,000 people at the Tuesday rally.

Students and parents of students who have received school transfer scholarships spoke to the crowd on the south lawn of the State Capitol.

One parent remarked, “Education is a right, not a privilege.”

Organizers of the rally say it would not be possible without the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013.

The legislation created a mechanism for families of students who meet certain financial need criteria to apply for scholarships to move their children to the public or private schools of their choice, according to DiCarlo.

The list of speakers included Governor Robert Bentley and Alabama Senate Majority President Pro-Tempore Del Marsh, one of the sponsors of the Alabama Accountability Act.

“The level of support from governors, to senators, to everybody it’s a movement. And it’s a movement that I think, it started and it won’t stop. It can’t stop. And so  I think the State of Alabama has to be a part of the movement and the State of Alabama has to be leaders in this movement and we have to support it and the momentum from what I saw today, get ready everyone,” said Ibrahim Lee, Principal of Bellingrath Middle School in Montgomery.

Copyright 2016 WIAT CBS 42

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