School Choice Becoming a New Option for Parents
This is the time of year when parents begin thinking about school choice. The decision parents make surrounding the school choice involves finding the right environment for their young student to learn in, where they believe they’ll succeed the most, and where they will be happiest.
“When we have individual conversations with moms and dads, they want their children happy in school. They want their kids happy in life,” said Andrew Campanella, president and CEO of the National School Choice Awareness Foundation.
The National School Choice Awareness Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises awareness of school choice options so parents can find learning environments for their children to succeed in. It works to develop and promote comprehensive school navigation resources. It is supported through grants and individual donations and remains nonpartisan and nonpolitical.
Campanella says that during the pandemic, we saw parents learn more about other options for their children’s education besides traditional brick-and-mortar schooling. When restrictions were put in place, and many students were forced to study remotely, parents had to adapt how they engaged with their children’s education. This led parents to understand better what environments worked for their children. He says that over the last two-and-a-half years, parents have wanted more choices for their children’s education.
The National School Choice Awareness Foundation puts on an annual National School Choice Week to raise awareness of the different options parents have, from traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, online schooling, homeschooling, and other nontraditional options like micro schooling and pod learning.
“I remember during many months, I was working in my dad’s shop, and next to me were my children taking classes online,” said Krissia Campos, a mom and the Hispanic Specialist at the National School Choice Awareness Foundation. “It was my first time being almost in the classroom with them, knowing what they were learning, knowing where they were, what they had questions on, knowing how they interact in the classroom with teachers and fellow students.”
A poll Campanella says the National School Choice Awareness Foundation conducted in 2021 shows that after surveying more than two thousand parents, more than half had looked at new or different learning options for their children. Some of the reasons parents shared in the survey is they were looking for a better educational environment where they also feel that their children are safe in.
If you’re interested in hearing more from Campanella and Campos, you can listen to an interview with them on the K12 On Learning podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.