Tuesday, October 19, 2010

'It's no wonder people are demanding alternatives'

In a letter to the editor published October 16 in the Tulsa World, Mike and Jill Simmond wrote:
We find the local public schools' stance on the special education vouchers amusing. We have had three children go through public schools, one of which was disabled and required special education. We only wanted the best education for our children. At Broken Arrow, we donated time, computers, and programs to his class, only to find them still in the box at the end of the semester. We moved three times, at great expense, because the districts blocked requested transfers to keep their hands on the money, which wasn't finding its way to our son.

We finally found a school system in Union that wanted to provide a quality program and wanted to see our son excel to his potential, instead of providing the state minimums. It is amazing how different neighboring districts can be. We were happy to see Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall move over to Broken Arrow and replace the old era, now Union is joining the crowd out of fear.

Who cares if this is a gateway to open vouchers? If these schools invested as much time and effort in providing quality programs and a real interest in their students, they would have people flocking to their districts. But instead, they are doing everything they can to imprison families in their districts with no choice, instead of setting goals of excellence. It's no wonder people are demanding alternatives, but that may be OK. We certainly have enough districts in Oklahoma to choose from.

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