North Texas Parents Fight for School Choice - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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North Texas Parents Fight for School Choice

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    North Texas parents who have children in public charter schools are coming together to show their support for school choice. (Published Friday, Jan. 27, 2017)

    North Texas parents who have children in public charter schools are coming together to show their support for school choice.

    "There are about 215,000 families in charter schools across the state of Texas," said Sara Ortega, a spokeswoman for Uplift Education. "This isn't a small movement. There are also 140,000 families on wait lists so there's a high demand for what public charter schools can provide," she said.

    Advocates for the school voucher system, gathered outside of the Texas state capitol in Austin to rally for school choice. Parents across Texas also sent 5,000 handwritten letters to Austin, urging lawmakers to back the program.

    Uplift Education provides public charter school education for K-12 grades.

    "As I started researching, I said 'we're going to try Uplift.' I love it," said Jennifer Flores, who has a kindergartner and a fourth grader at Uplift Heights College Preparatory.

    "My son loves it. So I think we're here to stay! My son is in fourth grade now, but when he was in kindergarten he was taught at an early about the importance of college. He has already told me that he's going to UT," she said.

    School Choice is a hot topic in the Texas Legislative Session. The benefits and potentially damaging effects have been debating, not only in Texas, but around the country.

    President Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a strong advocate for school choice. President Trump ran on the campaign promise to use federal dollars to expand voucher programs.

    Currently, 31 states have adopted some form of school choice. Those who are against a school voucher system believe it will take away money from public schools, and in turn weaken the frame work of public education.

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