Do you remember your first computer? Back then, we were amazed at what they could do and how cool it was to be able to use email. It may have cost us a couple thousand dollars but, hey! they were worth it! Over time, more and more companies entered the marketplace creating competition and cooler/faster/smaller gadgets/less expensive products were constantly introduced. The competition created an environment in which those who wanted to do well had to continually find ways to be "the best". Competition forces providers to keep up to survive.
Starting in the late 1800s, our government began enacting anti-trust laws when it became evident that large, powerful companies were squashing their competition and controlling prices. In 1948 in The United States v. Colombia Steel Company, Justice Douglas clarified that "[industrial power] should be scattered into many hands so that the fortunes of the people will not be dependent on the whim or caprice, the political prejudices, the emotional stability of a few self-appointed men."
When it comes to your child's education, your choices are few. As a taxpayer, you are paying the government to provide schooling for your child – so a school is appointed to him or her. The alternatives are to home school or to pay a private institution to educate your child. Two expensive options.
But, what if you had another choice? What if the school for which you were zoned didn't best fit your needs and you were unable to home-school or send your child to private school? Wouldn't it be great if you could still keep your child in public school – but a school of your choosing? Charter schools are public schools that are subject to all the laws and standards of other public schools. A difference is that they have more freedomes in curriculum and approaches to teaching their students. For many kids, this is a huge blessing. Charter schools also mean competition – and as we know, competition generally means across-the-board improvement and innovation. However, monopolies really don't like competition and try to eliminate it.
As parents, we want what is best for our kids. We must allow parents the freedom to exercise choice of schooling for their children. Even if you aren't pro-charter school, surely you are pro-parent. Allowing parents to choose from educational options challenges the status quo and forces ALL schools to improve.