My name is Bill Bassett. My son, Bo is a student at Bishop McCort. Bo was always a very good student who loved to be pushed and challenged. His old school wasn’t doing that and Bo started to dislike school because of it. When Covid hit, his public school’s below-average quality dropped further. They were barely in school and Bo was done with his virtual assignments for the day in 15 minutes. My son is someone who needed to be in school and learning from a real-life teacher.

Education is very important to us and many people heard our issue. He kept hearing you have to get your son at McCort, but honestly, we didn’t think we could afford it. Finally, we decided to take a tour and see what would happen. Bo and my whole family loved the school, the atmosphere, and everything we saw. We sat down and talked about tuition. There wasn’t any way we were going to be able to swing it. Then we applied for financial aid and some scholarships. McCort did everything they could to make it work. My son is back to loving school and doing amazing things. Once people in the area heard about the things McCort was offering, they also took tours and loved it as well. Unfortunately, some of them just couldn’t make it work. They are still stuck in the public Covid education process. We wish and feel everyone should have a choice where their child goes to school. It’s just not fair.

My son was also able to excel in wrestling while being here at Bishop McCort. Bo made the USA World team. Bo competed this summer in Budapest, Hungary, and was the youngest world champion to ever win. McCort was so supportive and without them, Bo would have never been able to fulfill one of his dreams.

“Every child, every family, and every person should be able to choose the right school. They shouldn’t be limited just because of their ZIP code or based on their parent’s income.”

This is something I am very passionate about because I see the difference it has made in my son’s life. Every child, every family, and every person should be able to choose the right school. They shouldn’t be limited just because of their ZIP code or based on their parent’s income. I taught for 12 years in a public school in the heart of Johnstown, PA. We had one of the highest poverty levels in the state and maybe the country. I watched so many students over the years lose valuable classroom time and educational experiences, because of behavior, lack of support for the students, and class sizes were too big. To be honest, the teachers in this school could barely teach because it was a constant battle with students. I would often think about the students who wanted to learn and wanted to give their best effort.

The district is labeled a terrible place, but I am first to tell you there are some amazing students here. They just never had a chance to excel and be great. If they were able to get a voucher and move schools, I think many of them would have considered it. I think those students would have done much better and who knows how much more they could have benefitted. Fast forward now, I am a teacher at a private school and can tell you first hand, the two aren’t even close in comparison. I wish some of my students from the public school could be here experiencing a private education. As an educator and seeing this first hand, school choice needs to happen!

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