HOUSTON, Texas — School choice has become a political hot topic in recent years during debates over public funding of charter and private schools.
"It’s a good time to explore my options,” said one parent at a weekend school choice fair featuring public schools and others.
Home-schooling and online academies have seen growth amid the pandemic as have learning or "micro" pods where the same group of children learn together.
Harris County mom Brittney Grayson has chosen three schooling options for her three children in one year’s time.
"We went online just because we had the opportunity to do so with everything going on with COVID, and I was working at home,” Grayson said.
Two children are enrolled again in Sheldon ISD and another in a public charter school after a home schooling stint.
Grayson said the decision to switch back was based, in part, on one child’s dyslexia.
“I know other mothers who are still doing it and they really enjoy it,” Grayson said.
And there's help for parents overwhelmed by the choices.
"We connect families to schools and schools to families," said Families Empowered CEO Colleen Dippel.
The non-profit "one stop shop" for school choice information said many enrollment deadlines are approaching and catching kids up seems to be a common concern.
"W know the data’s showing us that all kids are behind," said Dippel. "But, particularly, kids who are under-served. Kids of color and low-income kids have significant learning loss and parents care about that.”
Grayson said finding the right fit for individual needs deserves educating yourself on all of the different options.
"You can kind of focus on what your child should be learning that will better help them in the future,” said Grayson.
Education experts say you should seek out the most objective information to help steer your decisions.
Texas School Choice Week coincides with the annual National School Choice Week.
Click here for more information about Texas School Choice Week programs and scheduled events.