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ICYMI: School Choice Scares Ohio's Partisan Elites

April 16, 2024

5 Min. Read

CINCINNATI, OH | APRIL 16, 2024Check out Orlando Sonza's opinion piece in the Cincinnati Enquirer regarding the importance of school choice for Cincinnati families. 

You can read Orlando's full article HERE and below.

School Choice Scares Ohio’s Partisan Elites
By Orlando Sonza

Cincinnati Classical Academy (CCA), a new community, tuition-free school in the Greater Cincinnati area, provides an outstanding opportunity for students from K-7 to obtain a classical liberal arts and science education. CCA plans to add on an additional grade each school year until the school services students from K-12. CCA’s goal is to provide a high-quality education to disadvantaged students who have previously suffered from a subpar educational experience in Southwest Ohio.

Recently, CCA received a nearly $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for further development of its school. Once partisan elites and special interests groups learned of the $2 million grant to CCA, they launched a smear campaign against the school, accusing them of only wanting wealthy kids to attend CCA. Additionally, these partisan elites and special interest groups requested that the Department of Education rescind the $2 million grant due to alleged falsities on their application.

In looking at CCA’s application to the Department of Education, I am here to report that CCA’s application was accurate in its description. Moreover, this attack on the school is not only baseless, but it speaks to a broader issue: the partisan elites and special interest groups are scared of high-level community schools (i.e. “charter” schools) competing with the traditional public option in our state.

Here are the facts: just like in the business world, competition breeds choice. As they say, the cream of the crop rises to the top. CCA is a tuition-free school that is available for any student, regardless of color, religion, or any other demographic. Those against school choice are scared that parents will learn about the academic richness at schools like CCA, and they will make the decision to leave their current below average education system.

This is a moment for honesty—as hard as most public school teachers and administrators work every day to educate the youth in our region, it is deeply troubling that schools like Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) only earned 2 out of 5 stars, according to the Ohio Board of Education rankings. One out of three CPS public high schools are providing sub-par education, and only one out of three CPS elementary schools are rated average or better. This is by no means a call to eliminate our public schools but taxpayers certainly deserve a better return on their investment and parents deserve better educational options for their kids.

I call upon students and parents to look into their educational options in Southwest Ohio. CCA is the type of school we need to provide high quality education to disadvantaged students who need better results. Partisan elites and special interests groups are desperate to continue an old, broken educational model that is a disservice to students, their parents, and taxpayers. It’s time for a change. We as parents of school-aged children need to demand transparency and know our options.

Orlando Sonza is a U.S. Army Veteran, attorney, CPA, and father of four children. He is a Candidate for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s First District. He and his family currently reside in Springfield Township.



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