Harrisburg lawmakers discuss ‘School Choice Week’ options in PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- National School Choice Week is underway across the country, giving parents the option to explore education reform.

"Our public policy should reinforce, not the state are the primary educators of their children," said Sean McAleer, Director of Education for Pennsylvania Catholic Conference."

"Each child has a different style of learning and each family has it`s own educational values," added McAleer.

On Monday, lawmakers at the State Capitol in Harrisburg discussed education options parents have for their children.

"School choice, or Senate Bill 2, that was just introduced would allow families to pick the school that best fits the children needs," said McAleer.

For some families having the option to pick a school, regardless of the district they live in is something they're willing to fight for.

"I want them to just have a good education," said Shontay Reilly, of York. "We chose for our girls to go to logos school because we currently live in York City school district and they have one of the lowest ratings," she added.

And that`s exactly the message Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week hopes to send.

"All children are different and children learn in different ways," said Campanella. "So, we want kids to be paired up with schools that meet their own needs," he added.

Campanella says families should be able to choose what school they send their kids to, whether it be a private, public, charter, online or even home school.

"If a family wants to choose a private school, but can`t afford tuition, there are programs in Pennsylvania, where families can apply for tuition assistance," said Campanella.

Through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, Campanella says families can get tuition assistance to help make private school more affordable.

“Those programs are on a district by district basis, you should contact your local district and the district that you are interested in sending your child to school at and find out what the process is," said Campanella.

There`s one thing to keep in mind, though.

"You need to do that soon," said Campanella. "Don`t wait until the summer, don`t until right before school starts."

"Every child should be given the opportunity to go to a school that inspires, motivates, and challenges them to learn," he added. "School districts and schools, regardless of type, need to come together and collaborate to make sure that all of those options exist for families," said Campanella.

For more information on what school choices you may have, visit schoolchoiceweek.com and go to the “my state” section.