Programs and policies offering school choice opportunities expanded in 19 states in 2021, and parents are exploring these options, with 52% of parents saying they have considered a new or different school in the last year. Millions of teachers, students, and community leaders across the nation are sharing their hopes and needs for the future of K-12 education as the twelfth annual National School Choice Week (Jan. 23-29) kicks off.
Before the Week’s official kick-off, parents in ten states explored their area’s education options at multi-school fairs on School Fair Saturday (Jan. 22). Several thousand families attended these events, which featured representatives from all types of schools, as well as free face painting, balloon artists, photo booths, DJs, raffles, scavenger hunts, and school supply giveaways. These school fairs took place at zoos, parks, hotel ballrooms, and even community food banks.
Thirty-one governors and more than 400 state and local officials have issued proclamations for School Choice Week, recognizing the importance of dedicated educators and quality school choices in their jurisdictions. In addition, dozens of landmarks, including Niagara Falls, are lighting up in yellow or red in honor of the Week.
A digital kickoff celebration will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, Jan. 24 on the National School Choice Week website: schoolchoiceweek.com. Hosted by a commercial baking student at Arizona’s East Valley Institute of Technology, the 2022 video premiere will feature cameos from students in every U.S. state.
Throughout the Week, participants will raise awareness at more than 26,000 events that families do have options and community help when it comes to navigating K-12 education. Besides in-person events, families and teachers will publish op-eds, post on social media, and attend virtual informational sessions on educational choice.
School Choice Week is non-political and non-partisan, and is celebrated by families and educational organizations of every school type: traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and homeschooling. The Week takes place in January to support parents as they consider enrollment options for the upcoming school year.
“There are so many different reasons why parents consider new or different schools for their children,” said Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week. “Our goal is to provide parents with the information and inspiration they need to start the process of deciding where and how their children learn, and to shine a positive spotlight on schools and learning environments that help students learn, thrive, succeed, and be happy.”
In 2021, schoolchoiceweek.com’s most visited resources included guides to school options by state, resources on school transfers, special education, microschooling, and guides to every type of schooling, state-by-state, in Spanish.
National School Choice Week is a charitable, not-for-profit effort. Every January, participants plan tens of thousands of events and activities –– such as school fairs, open houses, and student showcases –– to raise awareness about school choice across all 50 states. Year-round, National School Choice Week develops resources and guides to assist families searching for schools or learning environments for their children.