PROGRAM — Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program

My husband and I have a blended family and we also adopted several children. The family joke is, when they produced the movie of our life it will be entitled Yours, Mine, Ours and Theirs. We began homeschooling the oldest back in the 80’s when it wasn’t cool, and in Nebraska, where it totally wasn’t cool. Just google that situation.

I was schooling my last little flock of five when we had several family catastrophes and I decided to put four in our local public school (one was too young). The first year wasn’t bad, the second turned much worse. Jill, who was born with Spina bifida, went a full year with no therapies because they didn’t have an OT. She was also being teased and tormented by other children. This was 2012, and fortunately, I learned of the Arizona Empowerment Scholarships and was able to homeschool her with hired tutors.

Then, in God’s great providence, ESA added the category of children adopted through foster care and I was able to add the other children to the program under this category. They were thrilled as they had been begging to be homeschooled as well. Two daughters had endured a lot of bullying and teasing because being adopted sisters of different races. They have loved these years of being home and having a wide variety of educational materials, tutors, online classes available and music lessons. Empowerment Scholarships have been an amazing benefit for our children.

Parents are the ones who know their children’s strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, and therefore, are the ones most qualified to decide the best education for each child’s individual needs. With so many more educational choices available now days online and through homeschool curriculum, a child’s education should not be limited to just the public school in their neighborhood.

Parents who are concerned for their children’s safety, whether from bullying or more extreme violence, should have options to be able to protect them from harm. These and many more are reasons all children in the United States should be afforded school choice.

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