TEXAS • FELLOW

MARY SCHOMMER

PROGRAM — Charter School

Growing up with six siblings meant private school was not a financially feasible option for us. By chance, when I was in sixth grade it was announced that there would be a new charter school opening up in our city, and I was selected from the raffle. This gave me the option to gain a different type of education than what was accessible from the public schools near me.

It wasn’t easy, and at times frustrating. But, as I progressed I learned to love the challenges that came with a liberal arts education. My small class of twenty students was tasked with deciphering Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. At first, I struggled to grasp the concepts presented. But as we argued and discussed the meanings, I found myself enjoying the process of understanding.

While classic literature and liberal arts may not be the right fit for every child, it was for me. I was lucky enough to study these subjects because I had access to a charter school.

“Every child is unique, therefore assuming that there is one learning style that works for everyone, is an outrageous idea. “

Every child is unique, therefore assuming that there is one learning style that works for everyone, is an outrageous idea. Education is a right that each child should have access to; as such, it should not be based on a parent’s financial situation. By creating more school choices it opens up more opportunities for children to discover and access the style of learning that best fits them; some may prefer one-on-one learning while others prefer STEM-based learning. It is even more important and necessary to increase the number of options available.

Giving families the ability to choose between different schools allows parents to find a community for their children where their values and ideals align. Education is more than curriculum; By allowing more accessibility in school choice, parents can find schools that help their children to find their own love of learning.

Education prompts opportunity. By limiting a parent’s choice of school due to their financial income, it prohibits their child from reaching their full educational potential. A child’s opportunities should not be limited from the start based on where they live or what their finances allow. If the children are not the ones providing the income, then why should they be the ones to fall victim to poor educational opportunities? Instead, we can promote equal opportunities for success for all children by decreasing the influence of income on school choice.

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