Letters: Don’t weaken school choice

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I am writing to express my fervent hope that school choice will not be compromised.

We have owned a house in Stockbridge since 1998, but mostly rented it out as our work was keeping us in Massachusetts.

Our very smart daughter has learning style differences which have been called "language-based learning disabilities." When it was time to decide on a high school for Mia, we knew that she needed a small school with a lot of understanding of learning style differences.

When we visited The Sharon Academy, we knew that we had found the perfect fit for Mia. We decided that it was worth relocating our small businesses so that she could attend.

When I tell people about The Sharon Academy, I tell them that it is my dream come true because it has many of the advantages often associated with independent schools, but because of school choice, it also has the egalitarian inclusiveness of a public school.

The tuition matches the state average so that it is not a barrier for any student. The school does not turn away applicants because of a history of learning difficulties, and includes students with 504 plans. The facilities are modest, including a couple of yurts, but filled with the vitality of engaged learners.

School choice is one of the most attractive things about Vermont. We moved our family, our businesses, and our local spending to Vermont so that Mia could attend The Sharon Academy. School choice could be used as part of a marketing plan to attract small businesses to rural Vermont. It was the deciding factor for us.

DEBORAH ALDRICH

Stockbridge

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