A latest visitor column within the Tallahassee Democrat by Leon County Colleges Superintendent Rocky Hanna extolled the virtues of a public training whereas warning of the hurt finished to that system by training selection scholarships.

 I can sum up my response to that narrative in a single phrase: Wow.

I’ve labored in non-public faculties for greater than 25 years, serving as principal for the final 11 years at Kingdom Life Preparatory Academy, a non-public, faith-based Ok-12 college in Tallahassee. I see every day the distinction a non-public college training makes within the lives of our college students and their households.

That’s what the critics of college selection fail to know: the households.

I see college students leap out of automobiles within the morning and excitedly run by way of our doorways. They put on smiles, which tells me they imagine they attend the appropriate college.  My inbox is crammed with messages of gratitude from dad and mom and guardians relieved to see their youngsters having fun with their training.

I’m not right here to assault public faculties. I taught in public faculties earlier than transferring to personal faculties. Till we added a highschool, lots of our college students continued their training at a public college, and we have been pleased for his or her success  For a lot of households, a public college training is the very best match for his or her youngsters. However, as these of us who help college selection say, one measurement doesn’t match all.

Iam not right here to assault public faculties. I taught in public faculties earlier than transferring to personal faculties. Till we added a highschool, lots of our college students continued their training at a public college, and we have been pleased for his or her success For a lot of households, a public college training is the very best match for his or her youngsters. However, as these of us who help college selection say, one measurement doesn’t match all.

Opponents of these applications, just like the creator of the column in query, declare the state is sending cash that may very well be used for public training to these applications, which the creator claims “increase wealth and energy for choose people and personal pursuits.” That’s a false narrative. Eight unbiased research all concluded that the scholarship applications don’t financially hurt public training.

Final 12 months, 73% of FTC and FES-EO college students have been non-white. The common family revenue for a household of 4 was of $43,164, and 45% of scholarship college students reside in single-parent households. That doesn’t appear like wealth and privilege to me.

I’ll add {that a} examine by the City Institute discovered college students who attended non-public faculties on tax credit score scholarships have been as much as 43% extra prone to attend a four-year school, and as much as 20% extra prone to earn a bachelor’s diploma, than their friends who attended public college.

College selection applications don’t place a wedge between dad and mom and public faculties, as critics declare.  They merely give dad and mom an possibility.

If it wasn’t for college selection, many college students can be within the fallacious setting, primarily set as much as fail.

I’ve seen Kingdom Life Preparatory Academy make an important distinction within the emotional wellness and educational capability of youngsters since they’re in a smaller setting, a setting that’s prepared to fulfill their holistic wants. A public college couldn’t try this. I’m not anti-public college. I’m simply pro-choice.

There are faculties on the market like Kingdom Life Preparatory Academy that imagine in selection.  We imagine in making a distinction within the lives of each scholar, and we take our job critically.  It’s not about diverting {dollars}. It’s about making a wholesome system of choices.