7/31 @ 11:30 AM ET | Speaker Boehner Press Conference - WATCH LIVE HERE

The third annual National School Choice Week has started, giving us a chance to redouble our efforts to help more students escape underperforming schools.  It’s also a chance to say ‘thank you’ to the parents and grassroots leaders who work hard year-round to advance school choice initiatives.  These men and women understand that opportunity is critical to improving our education system. 

In a new video, Speaker Boehner – a longtime school choice advocate – says he’s “all in” for National School Choice Week and talks about how “parents are best equipped to know their children’s needs.”

“For that reason, parents should be empowered to select the best learning environment for their children.  Millions of children are denied access to great schools, denying them access to their own American Dream.  Congress needs to open up the education system to include all forms of school choice, including private, charter, traditional public and home schools.

In the video, Boehner touts the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which he helped create as chairman of the Education & Workforce Committee.  It’s the only program in the country where the federal government empowers low-income families to choose the schools that are best for their children.

“Here in our nation’s capital city, Congress has authorized the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, giving thousands of parents a choice in where to send their children.  School choice is proven to boost graduation rates, improve parental satisfaction, and increase student achievement.  If we restrict parents’ choices, we only harm our children’s future.”

Last year, Boehner worked with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and a bipartisan coalition to restore and renew the scholarship program despite the Obama administration’s repeated efforts to shut it down.

Speaker Boehner closes the video by encouraging all Americans to join this great cause, adding: “Let’s do our part to celebrate school choice and continue talking about how we can make ours the best schools in the world.