Parental Choice In Education Key To Students’ Success Says Winner Of National Education Award
San Antonio businessman Robert Aguirre, recipient of the NCEA's 2012 DeFiore Parental Choice Award, says parents should be given the option to select the school that best provides their children with the opportunity to learn and be successful.
San Antonio, Texas (I-Newswire) April 21, 2012 - The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recognized San Antonio businessman Robert Bernal Aguirre last week for his nationwide efforts spanning more than two decades advocating for parental choice in education. Aguirre received the Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Award for “outstanding leadership in promoting full and fair parental choice in education” at an awards dinner on April 10 during the NCEA’s national convention in Boston.
In bestowing this award, the NCEA recognized Aguirre as “a longtime activist for parental choice as a means to strengthen both private and public education to serve the needs of low-income families.” Aguirre, owner of Robert Aguirre Consultants (a strategic planning, organizational development and project management consulting firm), also serves as the president and CEO of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL)—a national organization of business and professional Catholics.
Reflecting upon his work, Aguirre states “Today’s education landscape nationwide is grim, especially for minorities who continue to drop out of school in record numbers. It is time that states offer students – especially low-income students -- an option other than the drop-out option.” Stressing the need for parental choice in education, he adds “Let’s give them the option of selecting the school that best provides them with the opportunity to learn and be successful.”
Aguirre co-founded the Alliance for School Choice in 1994. The Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options, formed by Aguirre in 1998, helps Hispanic communities organize to fight for access to equal educational opportunities and works to advance education public policy at the state level. The Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation, a privately funded school choice endeavor which Aguirre co-founded and managed, provided financial assistance to more than 6,000 high-risk San Antonio K-12 students. Aguirre has helped to establish similar privately funded tuition assistance organizations in 102 cities, representing private philanthropic support totaling more than $500 million. As an integral part of providing scholarship assistance, Aguirre developed a grass-roots organizational model that included working with parents on topics ranging from parenting and family issues to health care and promotion of a family culture of education.
CALL (Catholic Association of Latino Leaders) is a national organization comprised of lay people dedicated to promoting the common good of the Catholic Church and of the nation. Established on the premise that it is the particular vocation of the laity to transform the world through “faithful citizenship,” CALL members do so by finding new and culturally relevant ways to preserve and promote the values of their faith--especially within the historical context that Hispanics were the first American Catholics. Internally, CALL provides a forum for members to strengthen their faith in community through prayer, education and service. Externally, CALL provides programs, services and events for the benefit of their faith, the community and the country. CALL has chapters established in Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Denver, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Milwaukee, Miami and Washington DC.
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Published On:April 21, 2012
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