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Kelly Edginton, Head of School Idaho Virtual Academy, Idaho Press-Tribune

As America marks National School Choice Week, Idaho can look to the Klaeui family as a shining example of why education options for families are so important. Rebecca Klaeui is a mother of three teenage daughters, who since kindergarten, all attended Idaho Virtual Academy, a full-time, tuition-free, online public school.

One of the most important factors for Rebecca in the decision to school at home was the desire to be closely involved in her children’s education. Rebecca had always been interested in this choice for her family but was unsure of her own ability to provide the necessary content. Idaho Virtual Academy was the perfect choice thanks to the rigorous and personalized online curriculum and highly supportive teachers.

Support for school choice exists across the political spectrum and is rooted in the firm belief that parents know their children best. As the head of school for Idaho Virtual Academy, I know that K12 Inc., the company that powers our school, works hard to put students first. I respect parent choice in education because I firmly believe children can succeed when placed in a supportive environment that suits their individual needs. I have seen this happen first-hand for the Klaeui family and many other Idaho Virtual Academy families throughout the years.

Not to be overlooked is how school choice positively affects thousands of teachers across the country. Online and blended charter schools provide teachers with new opportunities and exciting ways to teach kids. Some of the strongest advocates for education options are professional educators who freely choose to work in schools of choice and passionately defend the rights of parents to exercise educational choice for their children.

Children are the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, we must do everything we can to give them the best education possible. A critical element toward achieving this goal is expanding school choice for all families and increasing the number of success stories for students like Caitlin, Maia and Silvia.

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