When my children started kindergarten sixteen years ago, I didn’t know anything about school choice. All I wanted was for my children to receive a good education.
I have said this many times before; the schools where I could afford to live were failing and had been for a long time. In my search for affordable quality education options, I came across charter schools. Honestly, they were exceptional in comparison to the local public schools in my neighborhood, and I noticed an increase in achievement each year. The public schools in my neighborhood either had consistently low ISTEP scores, Indiana’s standardized test at that time.
My children still talk about their time at Christel House Academy South and how many different opportunities they were exposed to from music, food, and even sports. I was a young mother during those years, and I greatly appreciated all the resources from bus transportation, low-cost camps, and extracurricular activities.
When it was time for high school, I again knew I wanted something more for my children. There were not only local public and charter school options available to me but also my local private schools.
This time during my search, I came across the Indiana School choice voucher program. I was surprised to find that some of the best private schools would be an affordable option for our family. Unfortunately, the local high school they would have attended was in the process of being taken over by the state after a long history of failure.
I had nothing to lose so my twins started attending Heritage Christian School in 8th grade. It quickly became apparent this was the right place for my son to get the extra help he needed and my daughter to have access to more rigorous courses and AP classes.
They both went on to graduate from Heritage Christain and attend college. This May, my daughter graduated from college one year early. My son is completing a summer internship and is on track to graduate from college next spring.
Sixteen years later, I know exactly what school choice is. It allowed my family to not only avoid failing schools but to choose schools that were the best fit for our children.
When my daughter was walking across the stage, I thought to myself what if there were no school choice? What if I had no choice but to send my children to failing schools?
School choice is not aimed to destroy public schools; for numerous families it is a great education equalizer. School choice gives families a choice to not only avoid failing schools but to put their child in an environment to help them maximize their potential so they can enter the world as productive citizens and achieve their dreams.