‘The state offers opportunities to choose’: Families explore educational options during National School Choice Week

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Tammy Olivas

MILWAUKEE -- School choice was controversial when it started in Wisconsin, and it remains so today. Parents wondering whether their kids are better off in private or public schools got a chance to compare them in one place on Saturday, Jan. 19.

National School Choice Week highlights the array of options for parents and students in the Milwaukee area, and it began with a fair at the Italian Community Center on Saturday.

"It's important to recognize the state offers opportunities to choose," said Tammy Olivas, director of Hispanics for School Choice. "They need to find out what schools are offering, because we know parents know what they want for their children."

Parents and children made their way through the Italian Community Center, with representatives from area schools and organizations on hand. It was a one-stop shop for families looking to explore the city's educational options.

"It's really hard nowadays to go to every school. We have over 200 schools in Milwaukee alone, so for them to come to one place and be able to visit many of them is an amazing opportunity," said Olivas.

Diana Salas

Public schools, charter schools, private schools, magnet schools and even home schooling were all represented at the fair.

Religion is part of Diana Salas' criteria when choosing a school.

"I prefer my son stays in Catholic school," said Salas. "He is more close to Jesus. It's important for my family."

She was looking for the perfect fit -- a place where her family's beliefs could be incorporated into her third-grader's education.

"The school prepares better for the future," said Salas. "Maybe he can have a better option for the university."

The seven-day National School Choice Week is aimed at educating parents, so students can spend the the rest of their school days successful and happy.

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