My mother-in-law is a Buckeye, while my wife and I cheer for the Wolverines, and the rivalry is strong. Nothing gives me heartburn like seeing Michigan get beaten by Ohio. The only thing worse than getting beat on the basketball court or the football field is seeing Michigan get beaten by Ohio economically and academically.

Thanks to Governor Whitmer’s callous veto, kids in Ohio have more options than kids in Michigan, and that’s a tragedy. Walter Blanks Jr., the press secretary for the American Federation for Children, wrote in The Detroit NewsWhen it comes to school choice, Ohio has Michigan beat

There are intense rivalries between Michigan and Ohio, especially in sports. But while fans may disagree on who the better team is, we can all agree that a high-quality education for every child is not only important but vital for both states.

When it comes to these two states, there is a stark contrast between the two: Ohio flourishes while Michigan does not when it comes to providing high-quality educational options for students. 

In Michigan, the story is very different for students like me who need more than the public education system provides. Many families have no choice at all. For those that do, it’s clear they want something different; there’s no other way to explain why 50% of Detroit families chose a charter school.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had a chance to open the door to more educational opportunities for kids in Michigan. Unfortunately, she instead vetoed two bills earlier this year that would have allowed parents to unlock the right educational options for their children.

I had the benefit of school choice growing up. My parents chose to homeschool, and I am grateful for their sacrifice and the opportunities that decision provided. I want my kids – and every student in Michigan – to have that same opportunity for academic success, whether that’s at a public school, public charter, private school, microschool or homeschool. Every student deserves to have the education that works best for them.

Thankfully, there is a petition effort underway that would override Governor Whitmer’s political veto of Student Opportunity Accounts. We shouldn’t rest until every student in Michigan has the opportunity to succeed. 

Cameron Pickford is the Communications Director for the Michigan Freedom Fund.