I am school choice

My oldest two children, twins, will graduate from high school in spring 2018. I can hardly believe they are seniors. As I look back, I think about our journey through education.

We are a family who has never tried traditional public schools. When I set out on this journey, my only goal was to give them the quality education they deserved that I definitely could not afford. Twelve years ago quality education was not easy to provide for your children if you didn't live in a certain area code. 

Critics say it's challenging for poor families to send their children to charter/vouchers schools. I must agree; it was sometimes hard getting them to and from a centrally located bus stop and traveling across town to their school for programs, parent teacher conferences, sports, etc., but Christel House Academy made every effort to make these challenges a little bit easier for families. 

My children went from a public charter school to a private school that accepted vouchers. All the rumors I heard about private schools not being equipped to teach children from all backgrounds was not true. The teachers and faculty at Heritage Christian School were determined to help my children succeed. Again the struggle of transportation and the portion of tuition I had to pay was sometimes challenging. 

A few weeks back, I was driving up to the school to pick up my kids from several activities and there was a huge sign out front that read “Heritage Christian School #1 College Prep School in Central Indiana.”  Like a ton of bricks, it hit me; both of my twins are college bound and they received the best education central Indiana has to offer, an education they deserved because of school choice. 

All those years ago when I enrolled them in a public charter school, it was not to destroy the institution of public school. It was to give my children a better chance at a quality education. Quality education comes in so many forms and should be accessible to all children no matter the zip code they live in. 

Although all the sacrifices we made have been worth it, I hope other families don't have to make the sacrifices we have for quality education, but this will only happen if our lawmakers pass legislation giving equal funding to all education entities in Indiana.

 

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Cheryl Kirk

Mrs. Kirk is a married mother of three children, 16-year-old twins and a 9 year-old son, who all currently attend private school on a voucher. She is a Gary, Indiana native but has lived in Indianapolis for many years. While trying to provide a quality education for her children she met many obstacles and became determined to access the best education for her children. Cheryl is a licensed practical nurse and has worked in home care, hospice, long-term care, and is currently the clinical director for an assisted living facility.