When people think of school choice, they often think about private schools.
But strangely enough, when I started to write about the different types of school choice for this series, I found it challenging to write about private schools.
Why? Because there are so many different types of them! They’re all so different, so unique.
I’ve visited independent schools, schools focusing on children with special needs, schools for deaf children, Catholic schools, Montessori schools, Jewish Day Schools, Waldorf schools, Lutheran schools — and more, and more, and more.
Then it struck me: this diversity and variety is the story of private education in America today, a story that isn’t often told. There are an abundance of choices within choices, of vast new opportunities for children and families, as part of the private school landscape.
For many students, this type of customized, private education can provide a ticket to achieving their dreams.
I know this, because I’ve seen met students who, on the verge of dropping out of school, be given a scholarship to attend a private school…and graduate as valedictorians.
I’ve also met scholarship recipients like Denisha Merriweather, from my adopted home state of Florida, who was struggling academically before she started attending a private school. Now, years later, she’s pursuing her PhD (and she’s infinitely smarter than I am.)
Thankfully, an increasing number of states are making it easier for parents to afford private school tuition. X states offer some type of scholarship or tax credit program to empower parents to choose private education for their children. These programs are saving children’s lives, and providing needed opportunities.
Private school choice should not be controversial. It should be celebrated — as it will be during many thousands of events during National School Choice Week. What works for one child might not work for another. Finding a good fit is essential, and private education provides so many different choices, flavors, varieties and approaches, opening up a whole new world of opportunities for families.
Learn more about National School Choice Week’s President, Andrew Campanella, in President’s Corner.