Celebrate National School Choice Week

I am so grateful to live in a state where families have the option to choose the school that best fits their child’s educational needs. I have always believed that inspiring and equipping the next generation of creators and innovators begins with a quality educational system where families have options and opportunities.

Sen. Lori Den Hartog
Sen. Lori Den Hartog

Choosing a school that provides the right learning environment for your child is a personal experience. As a mother of three children, I know first-hand how every child has unique challenges, learning styles, talents and interests. Which is why Idaho families should have the ability to be actively involved in choosing their children’s education, whether that be in public schools, public charter schools, private schools, magnet schools, virtual schools, religious schools, or homeschools.

National School Choice Week (January 22-28, 2017) is the largest annual celebration opportunity in education. The purpose is to bring more awareness to school choice and educational opportunity in Idaho. Many families in Idaho have the freedom to choose the best educational environment for their children. Currently, 1 in 5 Idaho students are enrolled in educational choice options, including charter, private, magnet, and homeschooling. As much as Idaho has grown with educational choices, there are still many school districts in Idaho that don’t have options available to them.

On Monday, Jan. 23, students, parents, teachers and community leaders representing multiple school choice options will gather at the Idaho Capitol Building to raise awareness of the benefits of school choice in Idaho. They will occupy the first floor rotunda of the Capitol all day Monday. This is your opportunity to celebrate educational choice and share the importance of continued support for Idaho’s educational choice programs. School Choice Day at the Capitol is also a fun and educational way to introduce students to the structure of state government, the legislative process and meet their local legislators. Guided tours may be scheduled for students third grade or higher. For more information, go to schoolchoiceweek.com.

It is up to us to advocate for a quality educational system and promote a culture of innovation and creativity where every child has access to educational choices and a high-quality education.  One size does not fit all when it comes to Idaho’s education system. So gather your students and take advantage of this incredible opportunity to share the importance of educational choice in Idaho during National School Choice Week, January 22-28.

Written by Sen. Lori Den Hartog, who represents District 22 (Kuna and Meridian) in the Idaho Senate.