The Trump Administration is calling on Congress to approve the "Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act" that would give one million children the freedom to attend a school of their choice.

President Trump used the occasion of his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night to call for passage of the program that would assist children in failing government schools to attend the public or private school of their choice or to be homeschooled.

"No parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school," he said.

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Trump awarded an "opportunity scholarship" to Philadelphia fourth-grader Janiyah Davis, who along with her mother Stephanie Davis was invited to listen to Trump's speech.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently vetoed a school choice bill leaving the youngster to languish on a long waiting list.

“Janiyah, I have some good news for you," Trump said. "Your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an opportunity scholarship has become available. It is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice.”

Trump also used the speech to announce permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities and demanded legislation that would require all high schools in America to offer vocational and technical education. He reminded Congress of his administration's $1.5 billion investment in charter schools.

Our children have only one shot at a quality education. When the public school system fails them or doesn't provide diversity in course offerings, we rob our children of the education they deserve and potentially their future as well.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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