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Reimagining Education

Faces of Choice

“Our local public school system failed our daughter. Fortunately, the private school system includes her and encourages her success.”

– Becki Uccello, Springfield. Becki Uccello has been a public school teacher for 23 years. Her daughter Izzi attended the early intervention program at their local public elementary school for three years. They moved into that particular neighborhood because they knew that the elementary school was highly rated as far as attendance rates and standardized…

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“No one cares more about the children than their parents. School choice is paramount in Missouri for all families, because parents need other options than being forced into a system that doesn’t work simply because of where they live.”

– Lisa Smith, St. Louis County. Lisa Smith has been fighting for the best education for her two children for many years. Her journey began when her son was abused by other students and locked alone in his Riverview Gardens school as a Kindergartener. When Lisa tried to get involved in her school to make…

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“Teaching at a charter school allows you to rediscover the joy of teaching. This is the first time in my career where I wake up feeling really excited to go to school.”

– Mikael Spears, Kansas City. Mikael Spears is a teacher at Kansas City International Academy, a charter school in Kansas City.He spent ten years teaching in traditional district schools and learned that the bureaucracy of that system made it really hard to teach, noting that even something as simple as reading a book to a…

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“It has been proven the Saint Louis Metropolitan area has had failing schools and districts often giving parents no choice on what type of educational instruction their children are provided.”

– Del-Rio Swink-Lee, St. Louis City. Del-Rio’s daughter was severely bullied at her neighborhood school. When she and her daughter addressed concerns with their school they experienced retaliation including being banned from the school and retaliation against her daughter by school officials.Her daughter’s experience was covered in the local news and Del-Rio has made multiple…

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“When he (my son) was taken out of a pressure cooker environment and given the freedom to be in a place that saw him for who he was, he grew and our son started to come back to us.”

– Cara Lawrence, Lee’s Summit. Cara Lawrence watched her son, who suffers from dysgraphia, failing in school by third grade. Her son was bullied and told he was stupid, but she knew he was an amazing child and just needed to find the right place for him.By eighth grade they moved him to Marian Hope…

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“My wife and I have been greatly impressed with the level of education our son has received at GSA charter school. We are extremely blessed he is there. He is challenged every day.”

– Ryan Tucker, St. Louis City. Ryan Tucker has two children attending a charter school, Gateway Science Academy (GSA), in St. Louis. Both kids previously attended an SLPS Magnet School but had a horrendous experience with his youngest. He tried to be an active parent with SLPS but unfortunately he found “the relationship with administration…

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“When students are trapped in a school that is not meeting their educational needs, their future is at stake.”

– Kimberlee Gill, Lee’s Summit. Kimberlee Gill has served as a school teacher and administrator for thirty years. She just wrote a dissertation on school-choice policies across the country and after reviewing twenty-nine states and over sixty policies, she soon realized that Missouri was way behind schedule in passing choice legislation. “I learned well-written policy saves…

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“Although decades apart in our educational needs, the traditional school system was still unequipped to meet the needs of my children.”

– Keri Wright, St. Louis City. Keri Wright knows firsthand the benefits of finding a good school that fits. She escaped poor education in St. Louis when she was younger by participating in the desegregation program. Today she is doing everything she can to help her children have similar opportunities.Her family’s complex story highlights the…

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“It is hard for many legislators and people in general to understand how much money public schools are saving just by the existence of private schools.”

– Scott Williams, Columbia. Scott Williams is the head of school for Christian Fellowship School in Columbia, where he spent most of his life helping to provide a quality Christian education to the Columbia community.Scott has recently gotten involved in the push to create an Empowerment Scholarship Account program in Missouri. He sees how much…

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