Protect school choice

Originally published by The Arkansas Democrat- Gazette – July 11, 2020

Covid-19 is forcing many families to reconsider the way their students attend school. With brick-and-mortar schools across the country closed in response to the pandemic, many turned to online classes. But not every online school experience is created equal. When done right, and with the proper tools, online learning is a solution that works.

I know because I attended online school from kindergarten to 12th grade. Just recently, I graduated as one of the valedictorians of Arkansas Virtual Academy.

Online school taught me so many valuable skills. I took challenging and thought-provoking classes, and learned how to navigate digital systems. Learning this and communicating with teachers online are skills that I’ll continue to use in my college classes and in my future digital-first workplace.

With online school, I also learned how to manage my time and complete lessons and coursework on deadline. Time management is an essential skill that everyone needs in life. Fortunately, I gained it early and recognize just how important it is.

With online school, anything is possible. I continued my education without disruption, and my hard work allowed me to graduate at the top of my class. This is an alternative that not only worked for me but can also work for countless families across Arkansas.

That is why we must protect school choice. Every family deserves the right to choose the school that fits their needs. Let’s give people the power to choose what works for them and be in control of their future.


Forrest City

To learn more about Arkansas Virtual Academy, visit

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