School Choice Week
Held every January, National School Choice Week shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for every child. The goal of National School Choice Week (NSCW) is to raise public awareness of all types of education options for children. These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online learning, private schools, and homeschooling. To meet this goal, NSCW encourages schools, organizations, and individuals to hold positive events that celebrate school choice options, while drawing attention to the need for even greater opportunities for children.
Started in 2011, NSCW has grown into the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education. The Week is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort that welcomes all Americans to get involved and to have their voices heard.
Locally, Ohioans are planning over 600 events to commemorate National School Choice Week, which runs from January 24 – 30, 2016. Nationwide, the Week will feature an unprecedented 15,500 events, planned by schools, organizations, homeschooling groups, chambers of commerce, and community leaders. The events – which include open houses at schools, rallies, community celebrations, roundtable discussions, house parties, and more – are designed to raise awareness of the K-12 education options available to families.
“Ohio offers an expansive array of K-12 education choices for children and families,” says Andrew R. Campanella, President of National School Choice Week. “National School Choice Week will shine a positive spotlight on these options so that more parents can learn about the opportunities available to their kids.”
To learn more about National School Choice Week, including a calendar of events, visit www.schoolchoiceweek.com
School Choice Ohio
School Choice Ohio is the only statewide organization that educates parents on their education options and advocates for the expansion of quality options for every Ohio child. Founded in 2015, School Choice Ohio is committed to helping parents find a learning environment that allows their child to grow and thrive. It may be that students aren’t being challenged, or maybe they aren’t getting enough support. It may be that they’re being bullied and need a way out. It may be that they have passions for art, language, or math that they want to pursue. It may be from parents who are happy with their child’s elementary school but want something different for middle school. Or parents who want to get their child on a good path right away in kindergarten. By helping families find a great school that is a great fit, School Choice Ohio plays a critical role in seeing thousands of students across the state thrive in a school that their family chooses based on their individual needs and strengths.
Since its inception, School Choice Ohio has been reaching out to Ohio families by mail, phone, email, social media and community events to inform them about the education options that are available for their children. It serves as a resource for Ohio families, community organizations, schools, community members, elected officials, and media. Giving parents real power and real information about the thing that matters most to them – the education of their children – is literally the only way to drive sustained, continuous improvement in Ohio’s education system. Parents choose, kids win!
Visit their site to read personal stories of how Ohio’s school options provide quality, personal education and a brighter future for so many families.
Know Your Options
From public school to homeschool, there are many ways that education can be delivered to students across the state. Each school sector has different ways of administering, funding, and overseeing education in Ohio.
Private schools, which are the oldest form of education in Ohio, are run by private, nonprofit entities and overseen by a board of directors. Sometimes called nonpublic schools, they are not fully funded by the government (but can receive some state and federal funding) and usually charge tuition to students to attend. Private schools can have selective admission and can offer students an education based on certain beliefs, values, religions, or practices they favor. There are more than 1,000 private schools in Ohio.
Private schools can have either chartered or non-chartered status (which has nothing to do with charter or community public schools). Chartered private schools hold a valid charter issued by the State Board of Education and maintain compliance with the Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools. This state charter makes the private school eligible to receive state funds and services. Non-chartered private schools choose not be chartered to avoid government entanglement and do not receive any state funds.
A public school education is available to all students and currently there are more than 3,600 public schools in Ohio. Within public schooling, there is an array of options. Parents can choose their student’s assigned neighborhood school, which many families choose via real estate. There are also many public school choice options available: magnet schools, lottery schools, charter schools, or online charter schools. As they reach high school, students can enroll in a career-technical education program or use one of the four college jumpstart programs that allow them to earn college credit, an associate degree, or career certificate.
All public schools are issued a state report card, which is based on the school’s performance on several indicators. These state ratings let parents know how well their student’s school is performing on student academic achievement standards.
Families sometimes want to take their children’s education into their own hands by educating their children themselves. Today, homeschooling can be completed with a parent or tutor or on the computer if a student utilizes an online charter school. Families can choose to join a co-op group to complement either option, which allows them to connect socially with other homeschooling families and share teaching responsibilities and materials.
Ohio’s colleges and universities are educating high school students more than ever before. Through dual credit programs created by the state, like Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) programs, high school students have the opportunity to take college courses while still in high school and earn both high school and college credit for each course. These programs offer students the opportunity to save both time and money by earning free college credits before they even graduate from high school.