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PROGRAM — Opportunity Scholarship Program

By Jaden’s mom, Aimee

Jaden was in foster care and suffered some trauma during his early years. We became his foster parents when he was two, and by the time he was three we adopted him. He was born with a learning disability and school has been such a hard time for him.

What some children could complete in an hour took Jaden double or triple the time, and still it was difficult. He did try the best he knew how too. With the opportunity scholarship, this has been the first year he has ever made honor roll. Before this, he was in a public Montessori school and he tried so very hard, but it was never a good fit for him. We even tried homeschooling, where he did excel with me, but he wasn’t happy and wanted to be in school.

His current private school has been the best fit for him. The teachers have more time to give individual attention to each student and the classroom sizes are smaller. They do not require computers in lower elementary which has been a huge distraction with both of my boys in past schools.  Additionally, while I realize bullying is prominent in every school, it has been extremely rare in his new school environment and the administration addresses the issue immediately with zero tolerance.

Jaden is not called out of class in front of peers for special education. He no longer feels as if he is less than. The school puts him in lower level courses and move him up when he completes his goals, similar to Montessori style: aa quiet respectful way to help those children who have learning disabilities such as my son. It’s a small environment and you can feel the love from each teacher.  Jaden thrives for the first time in this school and made the honor roll for the first time in his young life.

I believe all families should have school choice because each child learns in their own individual way.  Each one of my kids have been in various public schools, charter schools, and private schools. Each has thrived differently in their school setting, but having a choice was the key to opening up their success story.  

What parent doesn’t want school choice when they see their child thrive for the first time in their life? Certainly not me or my family.  Brick and mortar settings are not for every child. I do believe the public school system works for a majority of children, but not for all. I also believe the public school administrators know this fact as well, yet they still fight funding school choice.

My kids are proof that school choice does work. It’s a success story I see working every day in my life now. Without it, my kids academic future would be bleak with failing grades, but most importantly their confidence and mental health would suffer. Educational success cannot thrive with those conditions.

How do I know ? I’ve lived it time and child again. I’m grateful for those who bring awareness for the children that suffer in silence in our country due to the lack of educational options. Of all the hardships in our lives, the outdated education system that limits the potential of some children has brought us the most pain. We need change and we need it now.


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