Your Story

 "I am a low income single mother of 2 autistic boys, they are now 17 and 19 years old. After having my kids in the public school system for 15 years, I've fought for improvement in services for kids with IEP's. Although there has been some improvements in the public schools, the progress is slow and the services they offer are minimal. My kids needed more, my oldest son dropped out in his senior year after not getting the help he needed. We tried the alternative high school in our area but that didn't work out for him because of the lack of structure there. During the year that public schools were shut down because of Covid, IEP students received no additional help for a good portion of that time. The help they did receive after a while was stretched thin as one teacher tried to help 12 special needs students, all with different issues, over Zoom. If I had an  ESA scholarship for my boys annually, I would have been able to hire tutors and the one on one help  they needed that the IEP's don't cover(and there's a lot they don't cover), and I would have been able to cover tuition for a school that worked better for my boys.  If I had that extra help, my oldest son would have graduated and my younger son  would be more advanced in his schooling then only being at an 8th grade level in the 12th grade."

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Crystal C. 

Aberdeen WA

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Rosie M. 

Hoquiam WA

"After working with foster children as a foster/adoptive parent and also with my job for about 10 years now, I've observed most kids in the system don't get the educational options they deserve. My family is fortunate enough to afford home school and an affordable private school since we don't believe that public school is the best thing for our sons.  I am not blaming public schools and their teachers for the challenging behaviors and developmental delays of foster/adoptive kids by any means, but if more resources and options such as one on one tutoring, homeschooling with qualified foster parents and the right curriculum, or independent schools with smaller classroom sizes and schools that are made for special need kids were available to them, the statistics of kids that age out of the foster care system wouldn't be so grim. Only 1 out of 4 foster kids graduate high school or get their GED.  While 70% of foster kids want to go to college, only 3% earn a college degree. Although public school might be best for some foster kids as some need to stay in a familiar environment,  others need more than what the public schools can offer educationally. We need educational choices in our state for foster/adoptive kids, and other families that have low income and/or special needs.

Also parents that have had their children returned home would benefit greatly from more educational choices for their kids. I know a mom who after a lot of time and hard work had her son returned to her after he had been in foster care for some time. They were happy, healthy and doing well! Then Covid hit. The public schools were shut down for in person instruction for a year. With this little boys behavior issues and academic challenges this mom eventually just couldn't handle trying to school him at home and made some poor choices, that boy is now back in foster care. This is heartbreaking and I know this isn't an isolated incident, CPS was overwhelmed with intakes when the schools were shut down. Imagine if this low income struggling mom had an ESA voucher to send her son to one of the many affordable independent schools that were open for in person instruction. I strongly believe the outcome would be different. ALL Washington State kids deserve education options."

Please share with us what your education journey has been like so far, why you would like Education Savings Account scholarships available in WA state, and what you would do with an annual  $7500 ESA for your child. If you have benefited from K-12 scholarships or vouchers from another state, please share your story! Please share your picture as well!

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