School Choice as a Ticket to Futures: Op-Ed

If you watched the president's first address to a joint session of Congress, you may remember seeing a young woman who was the beneficiary of school choice. Denisha Merriweather grew up in a struggling part of Jacksonville, Fl, but was able to escape generations of poverty, become the first person in her family to graduate from high school and is now completing a master's degree at the University of South Florida.

Denisha has recounted again and again how Florida's scholarship program for low-income children got her into a school that helped her beat the odds.

But not everyone is inspired by her story. Read more here. 

Why Parents Should Embrace School Choice

Choices: Public Schools. Public Charter Schools. Private Schools. Home Schooling. In his first speech to Congress, President Trump called education “the civil rights issue of our time.” The future of education is about to change, but we shouldn’t fear this change. Public school isn’t going anywhere. While the debate about the best educational system grows louder, we’ve lost sight of the real question amidst the noise:  What’s the best educational system for my child?The answer is inclusive—all four.

Keep reading here.

If public schools are as good as we say, there's no reason to fear school choice: Don Bell

Are we in the public schools really as good as we say we are?

I recently read a news article about the public school union uproar behind the visit of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a Florida private school and had to chuckle at the irony of it all.

On one hand protesters helped block DeVos from entering a public school.

And yet when a private school in Florida welcomed Trump and DeVos into their schools, the public school unions quickly criticized them for being "hostile" toward public schools.

Then while DeVos was being forced by protesters, who were most likely influenced by union opinion, in the "backdoor" of a public school, those same unions are accusing the Trump and DeVos of not being transparent by pushing a "backdoor" voucher program for parental school choice.

Continue here.

This is what school choice looks like

School choice is a term for K-12 public education options describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families alternatives to those publicly provided schools assigned based on the location of their family residence. Two popular school choices are charter schools and open enrollment.

Charter schools are public schools that are founded by parents, teachers or community members. They provide alternative educational programs that differ from traditional public schools. Colorado charter schools operate by way of a contract (charter) that has been authorized either by a school district or the Colorado Charter School Institute.

Read more here.

The River Valley Virtual Academy Features Aspects Similar To Traditional Schooling

VAN BUREN (KFSM) -- The River Valley Virtual Academy opens in August and is already drawing in quite a bit of attention from potential students and parents.

The tuition-free online school teaches classroom curriculum with a high-tech spin along with home-schooling features and scheduling that caters to anyone.

"We didn't feel like we were meeting the needs of all students because we saw some families that were providing their own education," Van Buren School District superintendent Harold Jeffcoat said. "We went out and decided we would create this model and it's been overwhelming the amount of support and the amount of positive feedback we have received."

Continue reading here.

Virtual school supports students with medical, personal needs

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — High school freshman Allen Shrewsbury doesn’t spend the majority of his schooldays in class, at his locker or with his friends. Instead, he spends his time outside of the classroom managing his antique business which yielded $120,000 in sales last year.

The 15-year-old is able to do this as a student in the Forsyth Virtual Academy. The Forsyth County Board of Education heard a presentation March 14 on the academy, which serves students from 6th-12th grad. Students and staff explained how the program works, how it’s successful and could be improved. There are seven career pathways for students, with the intent of adding two next year.

More here.

Student says virtual school helps her focus on music

A central Toledo teen is learning to connect with people from various cultures through music while taking a new approach to her education.

Lydia Napier, 16, recently enrolled as a 10th grader in the Ohio Virtual Academy, a full-time online public charter school for kindergarten through 12th grade. While it’s different from going to a physical school, Miss Napier said the virtual academy has the demands of a regular school.

Read more here.