On January 29, 2016, I had the privilege of hosting more than 400 public charter school students from ten of our ResponsiveEd’s campuses at the Texas State Capitol for the National School Choice Week Rally. Many of these students were visiting Austin and the Capitol for the first time, including some students who live in Austin. The School Choice Week Rally gave students an opportunity to show support for public school choice while their participation in the event allowed them to realize that school choice provides them with options in selecting the right school to meet their needs.
After the rally, some of ResponsiveEd students met with legislators serving on either the House or Senate Education Committees. They heard first-hand how education policy is created and how these decisions affect more than five million students in Texas.
One of the keynote speakers at the rally was David, a high-school student that attends our Premier High School of North Austin. He discussed how he feels lucky that he has had a choice in education. Previously, he always felt like he was failing and falling behind in school. Finding and attending Premier High School of North Austin has given him an opportunity to gain control of his life, education, and look forward to his future. His great-grandmother flew to Texas from Arizona to see him speak before the audience. When he started high school three years ago, David never dreamed of speaking to thousands of supporters, and especially in front of legislators at the Capitol. He realized this was a big moment to share his story and hoped it would help other students to know there is hope and options for them.
I love my job because of students like David. I want to make sure that every student, regardless of their circumstances, has access to a quality education and is provided with educational options. David had a choice; he could have easily dropped out of school, but instead made the choice to attend a public charter school and get his life back on track. Students like David give me a worthwhile reason to go to work each day.
See more photographs from the event by clicking here.