Shirline Wilson: Why choice is critical

Shirline Wilson, mother of three and Washington State resident, enrolled her son Miles in Rainier Prep as soon as the state adopted the public charter program. As a technology professional with a husband who began his career as an educator, it was important to her that her youngest got a unique education.

“When my family exercised our vote in favor of charter schools two years ago, we had every intention of following our vote at the earliest opportunity,” she wrote in a recent editorial. “While we understand there is no silver bullet that addresses every student’s needs, the very existence of choice creates a window of opportunity for our family to find programs that address our child’s passion for learning and match his strengths.”

For Shirline, the appeal of Rainer Prep is choice and having more involvement in her child’s education, and she appreciates the school’s diverse board.

“It is unacceptable that children of color—my own included—are being so tragically and vastly underserved for their basic education needs. For the last four years, we have turned to a private school to give my son the education he needs and deserve, and it has been a great expense for our family.”

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