PROGRAM — Empowerment Scholarship Account

Michael is very kind, loving, and caring, although he’s shy while he gets to know you. Michael has ASD, learning disabilities, and PTSD due to being bullied in public schools. He loves anime, drawing, and animals. Most of all he loves spending time with his older sister.

The top things I like about my child’s school are: the school offers 1:1 in course subjects which are important to help my son excel. He is in seventh grade but remains at a second/third grade on some subjects. The school offers a small school environment which is important to my son’s sensory issues with noise. He struggled in the loud larger classes of public district and charter schools.

Also, the school is understanding and accommodating to my sons need for a unique learning environment. My son can sit on the floor under his desk if he wants as long as he is actively engaged in the lesson or working on his tasks. And he can take breaks if he needs them without having to resort to physically hurting himself due to being overstimulated.

The difference school choice has made for my child and family is night and day. For the first time in six years, my son is enjoying school and likes engaging in his lessons. He has not gotten into trouble once for his reactions to situations because there are no situations he can’t handle with school choice. And for the first time in six years, he is actually performing at grade level in his learning disability areas! My hope for him was to learn to the best of his ability even if that meant he didn’t progress. But I now see him progressing more than I ever thought possible and am in awe of him. There is no more hurrying him in the morning to get ready, arguing with him that he has to go, he is not asking daily anymore for us to change his school and he is accepted by his peers and teachers and not looked at as the problem child anymore!

School choice has made a huge impact on my child’s life for the better in such a short amount of time. School choice is not about shaming anyone for their decision to exercise it, it is about empowering students and parents to take charge of their education to best fit their needs in the best way possible. If it were not for school choice some of the most vulnerable students would fall through the cracks of a system that doesn’t fit all. A round peg should not be forced into a square hole. We don’t all learn the same way and school choice allows families to tailor their children’s education to best fit their needs.

“If it were not for school choice some of the most vulnerable students would fall through the cracks of a system that doesn’t fit all. A round peg should not be forced into a square hole. We don’t all learn the same way and school choice allows families to tailor their children’s education to best fit their needs.”

To our family, school choice means that our son no longer has to be scared to go to school for fear of being bullied. It means my son isn’t made to feel he is less than his peers because he is not at the same level as them. It means that my son is now wanting to go to school and no longer asks to stay home or to change schools. It means my son is not always sent to the principal’s office. It means we don’t have cops at our door because of how my son responded when he was overstimulated. It means that for the first time, I have my happy and loving son back because he is not crying or having meltdowns daily about school. It means my son can learn! It means that we have the ability to do what is in the best interest of our son and his education!

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