For me, having education options isn’t an abstract concept—it’s my life story.
Growing up, I was homeschooled and attended both private and public schools. The varied educational opportunities helped form my character, gave me a motivation to succeed and taught me that education doesn’t end with a diploma or a degree.
But sadly, millions of children don’t have the same educational opportunities I did. All too often, kids are forced to attend an underperforming school thanks to bad government policies.
Trapped in a One-Size-Fits-All System
It’s especially difficult for lower-income families who can’t afford an alternative to the failing public school their children are trapped in.
Every child deserves access to a high-quality education that meets their individual needs, talents and learning styles, and education options give kids that opportunity.
Educational options empower families to choose the best school for their child, whether that’s a traditional public school, a charter school, a private school or homeschooling.
Nearly every educator I talk to—including my sister, who teaches second grade—has told me that each child learns differently. So why do we force children into a one-size-fits-all system?
In high school, my sister was struggling at a private preparatory school because of an educational philosophy that didn’t work for her.
Thankfully, she was able to switch to a traditional public high school and later a charter school that better suited her learning style.
Options to Thrive
Arizona middle schooler Jordan Visser has cerebral palsy, is visually impaired and has dyslexia. At the public school he attended, he was struggling to see any academic or social growth and his parents were deeply concerned for his future.
Fortunately, they learned about Arizona’s education savings account program offered to disabled students and found a private tutor. Jordan now gets the individual attention he needs to succeed and is thriving academically and socially.
A Brighter Future for Every Child
I believe that a future with more education options is a brighter future for our students and our country.
By empowering families, the educational system will look less like a monopoly and more like successful Silicon Valley startups. Educators and innovators would be free to develop new ways for students to learn.
We’re already seeing examples. Non-profit organizations like Khan Academy have taught millions of students around the world with practical and instructional videos without charging any tuition fees.
Educational options isn’t just the right choice for students and families—it’s the moral one. Helping kids now with an opportunity for a high-quality education gives each child hope to live their American Dream in the future.
At Grassroots Leadership Academy, we take a deeper look at why this issue is so important during our Insight to Action Program, “Case for Educational Options” Find out if this session is coming to a city near you and sign up for our email list here. You can also make a request for us to bring this session to your group here.