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National School Choice Week

Each January, National School Choice Week provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase effective educational options for children in a positive light.

Individuals, schools, and organizations across the country plan thousands of unique events and activities that highlight the message of educational opportunity and choice. A variety of school choices are now available for our children: public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, online schools, private schools, and also home schooling. All are applauded during National School Choice Week each year. National School Choice Week is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort.

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Did you know?

• One student drops out of an American high school every 26 seconds and 1.3 million students fail to graduate from an American high school every year?

• There are 3 times as many public charter schools operating now as there were in the year 2000. Public school choice, magnet, and vocational schooling, online learning, and homeschooling have also experienced significant growth.

• 42 states allow public charter schools to operate and 21 states have established at least one private school choice program.

• 92 percent of students who access their online courses do so from the classroom

(Sources: Urban League, National Assessment of Education Progress 2011 Data, Education Commission of the States, National Center for Education Studies, American Federation for Children, iNACOL)


PA Cyber supports National School Choice Week. As a premier online K-12 educational provider, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) offers students and families a chance to build their very own school…out of choices, not bricks. Using advanced technology that we provide, our students enjoy a customized education that is second to none.

PA Cyber combines highly qualified teachers and intensely personalized instruction with a dynamic, interactive curriculum that now satisfies, challenges, and engages thousands of students across the state. As a public school, PA Cyber provides services at no cost to Pennsylvania students and families.

We look forward to hearing from you. CLICK HERE to visit our website or call us at 1-888-PA CYBER (722-9237) for more information.


National School Choice Week –School Choice Definitions

Public School Open Enrollment:
Open enrollment policies provide increased education options within traditional public schooling. Open enrollment allows parents to select the best public schools for their children, regardless of where those schools are located. Depending on the state or local open enrollment policy, this means that parents can choose any public school within a district (intra-district school choice) or, in some cases, outside of their home district (inter-district school choice).

Pubic Charter Schools:
Public charter schools are independent public schools that are allowed the freedom to be innovative, while being held accountable for improving student achievement. Charter schools are always public schools and are always tuition-free. These schools are created (chartered) in different ways, depending on state law. Some are opened by school districts, while other states allow mayors, universities, and nonprofit groups to create charter schools. These schools are open to all children – students are selected at random.

Private School Choice:
Private school choice programs empower parents to use state-funded opportunity scholarships, refundable tax credits, or corporate funded scholarships to send their children to qualifying private schools. These programs are created by individual states. Some private school choice policies are relatively universal (allowing all children to participate), while others are targeted to assist low- and middle-income families, children who would otherwise attend failing public schools, or children with special learning needs. Most of these programs have rigorous accountability guidelines to ensure that schools meet standards for safety, fiscal soundness, and non-discrimination, while also requiring academic reporting for participating students. Private school choce programs can take several different forms, including Opportunity Scholarship Programs, Tax Credit Scholarship Programs, and Personal Tax Credits and Deductions.

Magnet Schools:
Magnet schools are public schools that are operated by school districts or groups of school districts. Magnet schools are tuition-free and have a focused theme and aligned curriculum such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Fine and Performing Arts, or International Baccalaureate.

Virtual Schools and Online Learning:
Virtual schools are Internet-based academies that teach students entirely or primarily through a rigorous online curriculum. These schools can be state-operated, district-run public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, or privately operated schools. In some cases, online learning is combined with traditional, in-classroom education, called “blended learning.” Publicly-operated virtual schools hold children to the same academic standards and requirements as traditional public schools.

Homeschooling is the process of parents educating children in the home. This method of education is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with many homeschooling families participating in local or regional homeschooling groups to augment in-home learning. All states permit homeschooling, and many states require standardized test scores, curriculum approval, and professional evaluation of students.

For more information on National School Choice week, CLICK HERE.

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