Reimagining Education

PARENT PERSPECTIVE: Who get’s a choice?

A parent talks about how school choice is important, even if you do not know you have had a choice in your education

By Tony Palazzolo

In my last blog I wrote about how we (my wife and I) looked for a better education for our son.  Even though he would have received a good education in a traditional setting, we knew he would flourish with a different approach.  Thankfully, there are many different ways to approach education and we were able to find the right fit.  Now he will have a head start on his peers when it comes to college and his career.

How did we make this happen? The simple answer is because we can afford it.  It does not come without some sacrifices (my car is nearly twice the age of my son), but we get choice because we can afford it.

I was recently debating with a person who was against school choice, even though he himself had experienced school choice through his own Catholic education (cue the beeping of a truck backing up).  Despite the fact that he was arguing against school choice, he admitted that his own parents made a choice to send him to a Catholic School.  He had benefited from the very freedoms of choice he was arguing against. It may have been purely for educational reasons.   It may have been for religious reasons.  It may have been a stretch financially or well within their budget.  The reasons don’t matter.  What matters is his parents had the freedom to make a choice to send him somewhere other than a public school.

But those same educational options are financially out of the reach of those that need them the most. There are thousands of St Louis parents that want a better education and future for their children.  They can’t afford to move and they can’t afford even the least expensive private school options.  If they are lucky enough to have a good charter in their area, they have to win a lottery for their children to get enrolled.  For them, if the public schools fail their children fail.

There is, however, good news.  This can be fixed and it won’t require more money.  Look for my next blog to see what the solution could look like.

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tony palazzolo image (1)I’m a publicly educated native St. Louisan and I am a strong believer in parental choice. I received my Operations Management Degree from Missouri State University. I am the father of an athletic, spunky and challenging 10-year-old boy. I’ve been married for 11 years (if you’re doing the math, he was planned) and with the same woman (my wife) for nearly 20 years. She still doesn’t think I’m funny.

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