Parent Voices

Commentary: Prioritize students, not programs when legislating open enrollment

  For 25 years, Arizona’s open enrollment law has allowed families to send their children to any public school they choose, even those outside their local school district. Yet open enrollment has remained out of reach for many students with disabilities. That’s because while the state’s open enrollment law allows[Read More…]

Customize learning for each child, parent poll says

A new poll from a national grassroots education choice group indicates strong support among parents for schools to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to education after a year of unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19. Eighty-six percent of respondents to a survey launched by the National Parents Union agreed that[Read More…]

podcastED: redefinED interview with Catholic school mom Jennifer Strickland

On this episode, redefinED senior writer Buie speaks with Jennifer Strickland, mother to 14-year-old Jack, a freshman at Catholic High School in Pensacola, Florida. Strickland, a former retail manager and independent cosmetics consultant, found herself a single parent when her husband died unexpectedly. Strickland talks about why she chose a[Read More…]

Commentary: All scholarship families deserve spending flexibility

Editor’s note: This opinion piece from Sara Pierre of Sunrise appeared online Thursday at the South Florida Times. Twenty years ago, I came to this country from Haiti seeking a better life. Today, I’m a single mother to six special-needs children, all of whom also have sickle cell disease. There[Read More…]

Commentary: Choice advocate dispels myths about education savings accounts

Editor’s note: This piece from Katie Swingle, an active school choice parent and advocate in Polk County, appeared in the Lakeland Ledger in response to a column published in the Ledger in February. As a mother whose children benefit from Florida education scholarships, I was offended by the recent “Your[Read More…]

podcastED: redefinED interview with ‘multiple choice’ mom Stephanie Conner

On this episode, redefinED senior writer Lisa Buie speaks with Stephanie Conner, a mother of four from the tiny town of LaBelle, Florida. The former teacher and her husband, Joel, an adult education teacher, use the Gardiner Scholarship for their son, Eli and daughter, Madeline. Their younger children, Meizie and[Read More…]

Commentary: Flexibility in education will help families like mine

Editor’s note: This commentary from Patrice Whitfield of Jacksonville explains how her three younger children have benefited from state scholarship programs – and how her three older children could have benefited had the scholarship been available sooner. As a mother of six, I’ve seen my share of struggles, especially when[Read More…]

Word for Word: A parent’s plea for education choice

Among parent and educator advocates speaking Thursday before the Senate Appropriations Committee in favor of legislation that would streamline scholarship programs for Florida’s schoolchildren was Jerold Maynard. The firefighter and father of two spoke in favor of SB 48, which would eliminate the requirement that students applying for a Family[Read More…]