At the state and federal level, the United States spends more than $620 billion on K-12 education each year. That's an average of about $12,296 for every student enrolled in our elementary and secondary public schools. We spend more per student than almost any other major country in the world. Yet, our students perform near the bottom of the pack for major large advanced countries. Our students continue to lag behind their peers worldwide in knowledge gained. [American Federation for Children Growth Fund] Among 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) found 27 countries outperformed U.S students in math. [National Center for Education Statistics] The same assessment found 17 countries outperformed U.S. students in reading. [National Center for Education Statistics] Our largest cities spend some of the largest amounts of money on public schools: New York City spends $20,226 per student. Baltimore spends $15,287 per student. Chicago spends $11,976 per student. Los Angeles spends $10,602 per student. School choice is vital to reverse inequities in education and failing government schools in Democrat-controlled inner cities. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, only one in six African-American students in the eighth grade are considered proficient in math and reading. In 2016, over 2 million high school graduates took the ACT: 45 percent of all students tested met three or more benchmarks related to college preparedness. Only 11 percent of African American students tested met three or more of the benchmarks for college and career readiness. [The Condition of College and Career Readiness, 2016] It is time for school choice to help free children from failing government schools and close the achievement gap. School choice is the civil rights issue of our time.