My name is Lisa Smith and I am here in support of Education Savings Accounts. School choice is paramount for all families. Every family story is different and unique. I’m a mother who wants the best education possible for my children. We live in a school district that’s been failing and unaccredited for nine years.
I have a child that had two terrifying incidents at his school during his first year in school last year. Those terrifying incidents still bother my son today. He was locked inside the school during a fire drill. I was not contacted by the teacher or school administration. My son told me about the incident when he got home. He was very terrified. A few months later my son was attacked inside the restroom at school by an older student who choked him and tried making him pull his pants down.
I was one of those parents that used to think children should go to school in their own community. But when you’re falsely banned by the school district for having concerns about your child’s wellbeing then you don’t have many choices to choose from. My only option at that point was to homeschool. I stopped working to homeschool for five months.
My second choice was to enter into the transfer program. Once I saw the difference in the school districts I was happy to know my children can get a better educational experience than the one they came to know. The transfer program has saved me from a lot of pain, stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights. School choice provides hope to low income families. It allows parents to access educational options that meet their child’s unique needs.
Families with low incomes are stuck in their failing neighborhood schools with no choice, no hope, and no future.
Lisa read her testimony to the Government Reform Committee in Jefferson City.