While 20,000 students in Ohio are using a state voucher to attend the private school of their choice, many students are shut out because they do not meet the narrow eligibility guidelines of the current voucher programs. In this ongoing series, we share stories from just a few of the families who wish that they, too, had a choice.
My name in Kesha and I am a mother of two children ages 3 and 5. My son, age 5 is currently attending private school and I am a full paying parent. While attending pre-kindergarten, I have had the opportunity to receive childcare assistance through Franklin County, allowing me to place my child in private school. When the time came to enroll my child into Kindergarten, I was made aware that childcare assistance was not available through county funds and that I would have to pay full fee for my son to continue receiving the education that I feel best suits his learning style.
At the time of enrollment, I felt very disappointed and discouraged because I felt like I had no choice on where I would send my child to receive an education. I visited various public schools and enrolled my child into our local school in my neighborhood. After taking my child to visit school, I felt that the school was not the best choice for him, therefore I enrolled him at the private school of my choice.
In order to pay tuition, I had to move my family out of our home and we now live with close relatives. I felt forced to make that decision in order to provide my son with the best education. My son has progressed extremely well at his school. He is one the top students in the class and is doing great in behavior. I have no concerns with the school that he currently attends, however due to my daughter attending school next year, I cannot afford tuition fees for both children.
I am once again forced to send my children to a school that is not my choice, in order to maintain self-sufficiency of my own. Unfortunately, my daughter will not get the same opportunity to attend private school due to my income but I have no choice at this time.