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Over a Thousand Gather for State House Rally in Trenton, New Jersey, to Support School Choice and the Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA)

by Staff
December 5, 2011
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WASHINGTON, ( -- More than one thousand enthusiastic New Jersey education reform supporters -- including students, parents, teachers, legislators, and leaders representing the faith, Hispanic, and African-American communities -- stood in front of the New Jersey State House in Trenton to support the Opportunity Scholarship Act (OSA). The legislation would allow for greater school choice in the Garden State by allowing low-income children to receive scholarships to attend a non-public or an out of district public school. Speakers emphasized the need for urgent action by the New Jersey General Assembly in order to ensure that every child has the chance to access a quality education.

"We were pleased to show our support for the efforts of New Jersey parents to secure more opportunity for their children," said Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity and the former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor and a former staffer at the United States Department of Education. "The grassroots coalition efforts of organizations like We Can Do Better New Jersey and Excellent Education for Everyone (E3) are highly effective in raising the urgency of this issue among the legislators who have the power and responsibility to make a positive difference in the daily lives and futures of young children. The parents of the children of New Jersey understand that in order for their children to reach their full potential and to compete for jobs, the education status quo must change."

The rally, organized and sponsored by We Can Do Better New Jersey and Excellent Education for Everyone, represented another Generation Opportunity supported effort to highlight the importance and parental demand for school choice in the Garden State and across the nation. Generation Opportunity's "Jersey Proud Education Reform Tour" includes meetings with leaders in the state on this critical issue and communications to fans on its Facebook page "Jersey Proud" which was announced last month and has more than 65,000 fans.

At the rally, supporters wore t-shirts and waved hundreds of signs supporting education reform, including Generation Opportunity signs and t-shirts that read "Support School Choice" and "Let's Go!" as nearly a dozen featured speakers touched on the key issues surrounding education reform and the Opportunity Scholarship Act.

Last month, Generation Opportunity toured charter schools in downtown Newark and Elizabeth and met with education reform leaders, parents, teachers, and other leaders supporting the Opportunity Scholarship Act and the overall issue of education reform. Generation Opportunity also conducted a site visit at a parochial school and conducted a series of campus organizing visits among college students at Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Earlier this year, the Generation Opportunity grassroots field team spent time on other New Jersey campuses including Rutgers University and Kean University. The team also had the opportunity to train community college leaders from Bergen Community College and Passaic County Community College who attended the annual American Student Government Association national conference.

In addition to campus organizing, the Generation Opportunity field team has met with young adults and young professionals in many other New Jersey communities including New Brunswick, Newark, Hoboken, Morristown, and Union to obtain their opinions on top national issues.

Visit "Jersey Proud" on Facebook by searching for the page on Facebook or simply by using this link:

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