Did you know that there are many ways to choose the best educational setting for your child? There isn’t one distinct chosen path that rings true for every family; for each student.
In fact, most of us have found that it takes a village to make school choice happen. Last week, I was able to join a large village of moms passionate about their children at MOMCon in Orlando, where EdChoice educated attendees on their rights to school choice.
EdChoice helps bring people together and equip them with high-quality research, data analysis, policy expertise and messaging strategies through their resources and training.
As these parents were preparing to send many of their children to school for the first time, they were given the information they needed to make informed decisions about education. For example:
What is school choice?
The term “school choice” means many things, depending who you ask. Fortunately, EdChoice has created a resource that defines and illustrates school choice, based on their organization’s view, and provides you with definitions for the many other types of school choice that exist today.
How many programs are operating in the U.S. today?
There are 62 educational choice programs currently and successfully operating in 29 states and the District of Columbia. One state—Nevada—has a program on the books that is constitutional but not yet operating due to funding stream issues.
These are just two important facts about EdChoice and how they help put information into the hands of parents. As a matter of fact, you can download introductory educational materials to help you get started.
As we listened to a distinct panel of experts in the field of school choice, there were a few underlying points that really brought home the reason behind the power of choice:
- parents should be empowered to make education choices for their own children
- buying a house, based on school district, is a form of school choice
- yet, kids shouldn’t be educated based on where they live; it should be based on how each individual child learns
- don’t force kids into the same education as their siblings if they don’t learn the same
- access your child, individually, and find an educational choice that fits their unique needs
- ask questions of your child and educators in your area
- research resources, visit the schools, and stay informed
Most importantly, I believe it all came down to being present in your child’s life and listening to their needs as far as education is concerned. As parents, we should be willing to pay attention to their needs and be open to change as their needs evolve.
Types of School Choice
- Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)
- School Vouchers
- Tax-Credit Scholarships
- Individual Tax Credits and Deductions
- Charter Schools
- Magnet Schools
- Inter/Intra-District Public School Choice
- Online Learning
- Customized Learning
- Town Tuition
For our family, we’ve done a mix of public school, online learning, and homeschooling, But, in the end, homeschooling has always worked best for our family and it’s why we just started our 17th year.
Fun fact: There are currently 2.2 million homeschool students in the U.S.
Find out more about which of these types of school choice are available in your state and how you can access them at EdChoice.