It's hard to believe it has been almost 17 years I've worked in the school choice movement. However, I would not take back a minute.
Early on, I spent some time at the Statehouse listening to pros and cons from legislators and the public regarding the issues. While working with schools and parents, I saw first-hand how school choice is a winner for a lot of families. I have listened to parents and cried with them as they told me their own stories about how being able to choose the right school made all the difference. Whether it be traditional-public, private, charter, homeschool, virtual or public-to-public transfers, their reasons for their choice of school varied from academics, quality, safety and religion.
As for me I have my own stories. Some of my grandchildren go to traditional public schools, some go to private schools, and some have taken advantage of the public-to-public transfer option. As their parents were looking at the schools in their district, they were very concerned by the schools’ grades.
Their son was already excelling in elementary and they did not want him to fall behind. As for their daughter she was having some academic struggles and they were concerned that as she moved forward to higher grades she would not get the help she needed. They decided to check into transferring their children to another district.
They applied, were accepted, and both children are now excelling. Their son is in high school taking honor classes and their daughter is doing well in middle school. They are both very involved in their schools academically and in extra-curricular activities. I do not think they would be excelling as well as they are if they had stayed in their district school.
I also have a granddaughter who graduated from a virtual school last year. She had challenges with anxiety and motivation, and had attended traditional-public, private, and charter schools. Her mom heard about a couple of virtual schools in Indiana, so they decided to try one. Her new learning environment helped with her anxiety and improved her self-confidence. She is in college now and working on her degree.
Yes, I work for a school choice organization. However, even if I didn’t, I would still support school choice. I enjoy partnering with donors, schools and parents to help ensure all families, regardless of income, can choose the education that meets the needs of their child.
If you are a parent or school administrator who would like more information about school choice, or a prospective donor who would like to help ensure families, regardless of income, choose the education that meets their needs, don’t hesitate to give me a call at 317-951-8781 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.