Letter to the editor: Open enrollment offers choice

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Open enrollment offers choice

This past year has magnified the importance of school choice. Whether it’s providing more options for in-person schooling or offering different learning environments and curriculum, school choice empowers parents to personalize their children’s education to what works best— and we need it!

It’s no surprise that support for school choice is rising as the vast majority of parents across the country recognize the freedom and results it delivers.

Douglas County is no exception. Remote learning is causing a significant decline in average academic performance and taking a mental and emotional toll on students, parents and teachers. Despite schools being one of the safest places for children, many DCSD middle and high schools remain shut down for in-person learning—though charters and private schools are more likely to remain open.

But the benefits of school choice go beyond in-person learning. In addition to providing students customized pathways to success (when is more choice a bad thing?), school choice narrows achievement gaps for low-income and struggling learners, improves traditional public-school performance (via competition), and can increase per-pupil funding for traditional public schools (because charters receive lower funding per pupil than neighborhood schools).

This isn’t to say traditional public schools can’t be the right fit for students. If you’re happy with your neighborhood school — great! If not, there are options that could be a better fit via open enrollment.

Douglas County families can take advantage of school choice with open enrollment restarting on Jan. 22. Go to https://schoolchoiceforkids.org/colorado-school-district-open-enrollment-web-pages/ and click on “Douglas County.”

Will Johnson

Highlands Ranch

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