Tennessee School Choice week underway

Published 2:58 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

Families across Tennessee are celebrating the opportunity to have a choice when deciding how their children receive an education.

Recognized during the month of January each year, Tennessee and other states are celebrating “School Choice Week” with the goal of raising awareness about the options parents have for their children’s education. The week is recognized from Sunday, Jan. 21, to Friday, Jan. 27.

According to information provided by School Choice Week’s website, 640 events and activities are taking place across the Volunteer State, including open house events, school fairs, homeschool information sessions and other celebrations. Each event is geared to include information about traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online learning, private schools, and homeschooling.

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Locally, TEACH and BLAST co-ops, which feature Carter County and Elizabethton students, were able to hold a celebration to celebrate the kickoff of the week.

“TEACH and BLAST co-ops were thrilled to take part in the National School Choice,” said Jilian Reece, TEACH vice-president. “We are grateful for the freedoms parents have in Tennessee to school whatever way they feel is best for their family.”

BLAST is celebrated the initiative Monday while TEACH is scheduled to celebrate Friday.

Reece added that anyone in joining the teacher organization and would like to teach homeschoolers can visit TEACH’s Facebook page for more information. TEACH is based in Johnson City while BLAST is geared more toward the Elizabethton area.

Across the country, over 32,000 events are scheduled to raise awareness for the National School Choice. According to information provided by the organization, Tennessee families can choose from traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and homeschooling. The state also offers a private school choice program and tuition-free, public online schooling.

To show support for the initiative, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a proclamation on behalf of the state to recognize school choice.

“School Choice Week is an exciting time for Tennessee students, parents, and teachers,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, in an emailed statement to the Elizabethton Star. “It is an opportunity for parents to research the education options available for their children, and also a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the many incredible educators and school leaders in the state.”

Visit schoolchoiceweek.com/states/Tennessee to learn more about the initiative.