I’m a parent and teacher here at St. Christopher Catholic School. We started here as a family during my daughter’s 1st grade year, and then I came on board for her 2nd grade year, as a teacher. My son followed us in kindergarten that year.
I was a product of private school, in middle and high school. Having that experience, small classrooms, smaller structure, really benefitted me academically. So, when it came time for my daughter to enter into 1st grade after having a really unfortunate kindergarten year at her previous school, I decided to start looking into smaller schools, in particular in the North Las Vegas area.
My daughter was going to a public school at the same school that I actually taught at so I was right around the corner from her. She just wasn’t getting the attention that she needed. I felt that seeing her attend a smaller school that was more inclusive, more community-oriented, and having the particular values that we instilled in our family, would be a higher benefit for her.
Being a teacher, I only get but so much income, so I think the Opportunity Scholarship is really important for all families who want and need for their children to be in certain schools so they can have those certain services provided and be available to them. That they are not cut off due to income or that there aren’t any obstacles for them to be able to give their children the quality education they feel their children deserve.
“They individualized her learning so that she could learn at her level and be able to be brought up, even with the gaps she came in with, so that she was at grade level.”
School choice to me means families having the active choice in their children’s education, especially with regards to what values they want instilled within them, what solid substantial foundation that they want them to have. Here at St. Christopher’s, not only is it a smaller school, the teachers really do care about their students. That was something I noticed with my daughter her first year here, that she was embraced by her teachers. They individualized her learning so that she could learn at her level and be able to be brought up, even with the gaps she came in with, so that she was at grade level.
It’s not fair that only the wealthy and well-connected people have school choice, because it doesn’t fit what the American policy of what education means. Education was meant for all people. Even though it was designed for certain elite, the policies changed where education and resources that were available were meant for all American citizens, not just the “1%” or those that have the money to afford certain programs and schools for their kids.
I would tell Nevada legislators to have these programs be available for all Nevadans. It shouldn’t be for certain Nevadans that they want to see succeed. If they really do believe in the people, the very people that voted them into office, then they really need to have these programs available for ALL students, ALL populations, especially students who qualify whether or not their families have the money or don’t.
Both my kids did not get their scholarships renewed this year, which was devastating, in particular knowing that the bill was passed and yet the money was still not provided for them. I don’t know what we’re going to do this year. There are some other programs we applied for, but even then, moneys are short because those weren’t the ones that were supporting us here at the school. In the meantime, I have to figure out payment plans, even on my salary, it is pretty challenging with two children in a private school, so even though provisions are being made for us, it’s still really challenging for our bottom line as a family.