Charter Schools offer all parents choice

Is it any wonder that the majority of parents with children enrolled in charter schools are extremely satisfied with the quality of education their children are receiving? Before the advent of charter schools, many children were trapped in the tragedy of failing, discouraging or unsafe learning environments well that is unless their parents were wealthy. Parents of means have always had the choice to put their children in a private or parochial school if the public-school circumstances were not ideal. But happily, with the invention of public charter schools many more parents now have that same choice. Charter schools enable less-advantaged parents to find safer and more appropriate settings for their children. But like any new approach to traditional problems, charter schools are viewed by some as a threat to the status quo and their establishments. For that reason there’ll always be skeptics. But charter schools have helped to create a competitive public school marketplace. Exciting new innovations and educational entrepreneurship are being put to work for kids. These innovative environments challenge traditional public schools to be the best that they can be. If charter schools are a good deal for parents and students in need of school choice, they’re also a good deal for the taxpayers of Ohio. Charter schools are educating children in Ohio at 2/3 the cost of traditional public schools. To put that in practical perspective, if all public primary and secondary school children in Ohio were educated at the same cost efficiencies and funding limits as charter schools, the savings to taxpayers would be between $2 and 3 billion dollars a year in Ohio . It’s been just ten years since the first charter schools opened in Ohio and now there are over 300 charter schools in the state educating over 75,000 children. Why such fast growth? Well, for one, charter schools tend to be smaller more personalized environments where parent involvement is encouraged. And most of these schools are in urban areas, serving high-poverty neighborhoods. In these quarters school choice can be true salvation for many parents. With their flexibility and agility, charter schools allow parents to tailor their children’s education to particular needs and learning styles. And charter choice means safe learning environments. Personalized, safe, parent-friendly Who wouldn’t want that for their children? Charter schools are entrepreneurial endeavors, but the freedom to innovate turns on the promise of accountability, both financial and educational. Schools failing on accountability should lose their license to educate whether they’re charter or traditional schools. In these regards, charter schools are unique and a welcome innovation. If they fail to satisfy, parents leave they vote with their feet. And unlike traditional public schools, if they fail to be accountable, they close. Successful and safe traditional public schools will always be a primary option for parents looking for a free and appropriate public education. But all educational options are not equal. And some parents will always be drawn to charter schools because of their hope for a better experience and greater success for their children. It’s that simple. It’s my child. It’s my school. It’s my choice.

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