School choice to me and my son is freedom.
My son is a rising tenth grader with Shelby County Schools. All throughout his primary and middle school years, he struggled academically. Even though programs and services were utilized, he just could not perform on grade level. He fell victim to oversized classrooms, and schools that were failing. As a parent, I did my part by providing tutoring, counseling and just about anything I could to get him to perform according to his grade level.
When my son was in the first grade, I made the the necessary sacrifice and enrolled him in to Our Lady of Sorrows, a neighborhood private school. I could not afford it, but I was determined to get him properly educated. At that school he made significant gains and was a top reader and speller in his class. The classroom teacher to student ratio was 1 to 7. Unfortunately, I could not continue his education there because I am a single mother of the and a Systemic Lupus survivor and our sole income is social security.
I am really ashamed to say that my son and my daughters do not have a stable school track. We have been “school hopping”, all of their academic career. I did this because every public school they have attended was a failing school and if the school was not taken over by ASD school district, the schools ended up closing. This really affected my kids mentally because every year they have had to meet new friends, adapt to new school systems and not to mention, struggle with their own adversities. Their focus just wasn’t there.
With a new school choice program, my son will now be able to explore different cultures, learn the things that will be beneficial to a successful livelihood, and not just learning to pass standardized tests. My son and I eagerly await the 2020-2021 school year and the years to follow knowing he will have an opportunity for a successful life.